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Full text of "The cotton kingdom : a traveller's observations on cotton and slavery in the American slave states : based upon three former volumes of journeys and investigations by the same author"

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1 



THE 



COTTON KINGDOM 



A TRAVELLER'S OBSERVATIONS ON COTTON AND SLAVERY 
IN THE AMERICAN SLAVE STATES. 



BASED UPON THREE FORMER VOLUMES OF JOURNEYS AND INVESTIGATIONS 
BY THE SAME AUTHOR. 



BY 

FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 
VOL. II. 



NEW YORK: 
PUBLISHED BY MASON BROTHERS, 

5 and T MERCER STREET. 

LONDON: SAMPSON LOW, SON & CO., 47 LUDGATE HILL. 

1861. 



Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1861, by 

MASON BROTHERS, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern 

District of New York. 



PKDITEB BY 

C. A. Alvokd, 
15 Vandewatar-st. 



CONTENTS, 



CHAPTER I. 

PAaa 
30UTH-WESTERN LOUISIANA AND EASTERN TEXAS 1 



CHAPTER II. 

A TRIP INTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI . 59 

CHAPTER III. 

THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS— CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI, ALA- 
BAMA, ETC. ...... g4 

CHAPTER IV. 

THE EXCEPTIONAL LARGE PLANTERS ...... 143 

CHAPTER V. 

SLAVERY IN ITS PROPERTY ASPECT.— MORAL AND RELIGIOUS 

INSTRUCTION OP THE SLAVES, ETC. . . .' lg4 



CHAPTER VI. 



SLAVERY AS A POOR LAW SYSTEM 



. 236 



IV CONTENTS. 



CHAPTEE VII. 

PAGE 

COTTON SUPPLY AND WHITE LABOUR IN THE COTTON CLIMATE 252 



CHAPTEE VIII. 

THE CONDITION AND CHARACTER OF THE PRIVILEGED CLASSES 

OF THE SOUTH ....... 272 

CHAPTEE IX. 

THE DANGER OF THE SOUTH ...... 338 

APPENDIX (A.) 

THE CONDITION OF VIRGINIA. — STATISTICS .... 364 

APPENDIX (B.) 

THE SLAVE TRADE IN VIRGINIA ...... 372 

APPENDIX (C.) 

COST OF LABOUR IN THE BORDER STATES .... 380 

APPENDIX (D.) 

STATISTICS OF THE GEORGIA SEABOARD .... 385 

INDEX TO THE WORK .--.... 393 



COTTON AND SLAVERY. 



CHAPTEB I. 

SOUTH-WESTERN LOUISIANA AND EASTERN TEXAS. 

Nacogdoches. — In this town of 500 inhabitants, we found 
there was no flour. At San Augustine we had inquired in 
vain at all the stores for refined sugar. Not satisfied with 
some blankets that were shown us, we were politely recom- 
mended by the shopkeeper to try other stores. At each of 
the other stores we were told they had none : the only 

blankets in town we should find at 's, naming the 

one we had just quitted. The same thing occurred with 
several other articles. 

Houston County. — This day's ride and the next were 
through a very poor country, clay or sand soil, bearing short 
oaks and black-jack. We passed one small meadow, or 
prairie, covered with coarse grass. Deserted plantations ap- 
peared again in greater numbers than the occupied. One 
farm, near which we stopped, was worked by eight field hands. 
The crop had been fifty bales ; small, owing to a dry season. 
The corn had been exceedingly poor. The hands, we noticed, 
came in from the fields after eight o'clock. 

The deserted houses, B. said, were built before the date of 
Texan Independence. After Annexation the owners had 

VOL. II. B 



2 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

moved on to better lands in the West. One house he pointed 
out as having been the residence of one of a band of pirates 
who occupied the country thirty or forty years ago. They 
had all been gradually killed. 

During the day we met two men on horseback, one upon 
wheels, and passed one emigrant family. This was all the 
motion upon the principal road of the district. 

The second day's camp was a few miles beyond the town of 
Crockett, the shire-town of Houston County. Not being able 
to find corn for our horses, we returned to the village for it. 

We obtained what we wanted for a day's rest, which we 
proposed for Sunday, the following day, and loaded it into our 
emptied hampers. We then looked about the town for cur- 
rent provisions for ourselves. We were rejoiced to find a Ger- 
man baker, but damped by finding he had only molasses-cakes 
and candies for sale. There was no flour in the town, except 
the little of which he made his cakes. He was from Ham- 
burgh, and though he found a tolerable sale, to emigrants prin- 
cipally, he was very tired of Crockett, and intended to move 
to San Antonio among his countrymen. He offered us coffee, 
and said he had had beer, but on Christmas-day a mass of 
people called on him ; he had " treated" them all, and they 
had finished his supply. 

We inquired at seven stores, and at the two inns for butter, 
floor, or wheat-bread, and fresh meat. There was none in 
town. One innkeeper offered us salt beef, the only meat, ex- 
cept pork, in town. At the stores we found crackers, worth 
in New York 6 cents a pound, sold here at 20 cents ; poor 
raisins, 30 cents; Manilla rope, half-inch, 30 cents a pound. 
When butter was to be had it came in firkins from New York, 
although an excellent grazing country is near the town. 

Trinity Bottom. — On landing on the west side of the 



ROUTE ACROSS EASTERN TEXAS. 6 

Trinity, we entered a rich bottom, even in winter, of an 
almost tropical aspect. The road had been cut through a 
cane-brake, itself a sort of Brobdignag grass. Immense trees, 
of a great variety of kinds, interlaced their branches and 
reeled with their own rank growth. Many vines, especially 
huge grape-vines, ran hanging from tree to tree, adding to the 
luxuriant confusion. Spanish moss clung thick everywhere, 
supplying the shadows of a winter foliage. 

These bottom lands bordering the Trinity are among the 
richest of rich Texas. They are not considered equal, in 
degree of fatness, to some parts of the Brazos, Colorado, and 
Guadaloupe bottoms, but are thought to have compensation in 
reliability for steady cropping. 

We made our camp on the edge of the bottom, and for 
safety against our dirty persecutors, the hogs, pitched our 
tent within a large hog-yard, putting up the bars to exclude 
them. The trees within had been sparingly cut, and we 
easily found tent-poles and fuel at hand. 

The plantation on which we were thus intruding had just 
been sold, we learned, at two dollars per acre. There were 
seven hundred acres, and the buildings, with a new gin-house, 
worth nearly one thousand dollars, were included in the price. 
With the land were sold eight prime field-hands. A quarter 
of the land was probably subject to overflow, and the limits 
extended over some unproductive upland. • 

When field-hands are sold in this way with the land, the 
family servants, who have usually been selected from the field- 
hands, must be detached to follow the fortunes of the seller. 
When, on the other hand, the land is sold simply, the. whole 
body of slaves move away, leaving frequently wives and chil- 
dren on neighbouring plantations. Such a cause of separation 
must be exceedingly common among the restless, almost 
nomadic, small proprietors of the South. 



4 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

But the very word "sale," applied to a slave, implies this 
cruelty, leaving, of course, the creature's whole happiness to 
his owner's discretion and humanity. 

As if to give the lie to our reflections, however, the rascals 
here appeared to he particularly jolly, perhaps adopting Mark 
Tapley's good principles. They were astir half the night, 
talking, joking, and singing loud and merrily. 

This plantation had made this year seven bales to the hand. 
The water for the house, we noticed, was brought upon heads 
a quarter of a mile, from a rain-pool, in which an old negress 
was washing. 

At an old Settler s. — The room was fourteen feet square, 
with battens of split boards tacked on between the broader 
openings of the logs. Above, it was open to the rafters, 
and in many places the sky could be seen between the 
shingles of the roof. A rough board box, three feet square, 
with a shelf in it, contained the crockery-ware of the es- 
tablishment ; another similar box held the store of meal, 
coffee, sugar, and salt ; a log crib at the horse-pen held the 
corn, from which the meal was daily ground, and a log 
smoke or store-house contained the store of pork. A canopy- 
bed filled one quarter of the room ; a cradle, four chairs 
seated with untanned deer-hide, a table, a skillet or bake- 
kettle, a coffee-kettle, a frying-pan, and a rifle laid across 
two wooden pegs on the chimney, with a string of patches, 
powder-horn, pouch, and hunting-knife, completed the furni- 
ture of the house. We all sat with hats and overcoats on, 
and the woman cooked in bonnet and shawl. As I sat in 
the chimney-corner I could put both my hands out, one laid 
on the other, between the stones of the fire-place and the 
logs of the wall. 

A pallet of quilts and blankets was spread for us in the 



ROUTE ACROSS EASTERN TEXAS. 5 

lean-to, just between the two doors. We slept in all our 
clothes, including overcoats, hats, and boots, and covered en- 
tirely with blankets. At seven in the morning, when we 
threw them off, the mercury in the thermometer in our 
saddle-bags, which we had used for a pillow, stood at 25° 
Fahrenheit. 

We contrived to make cloaks and hoods from our blankets, 
and after going through with the fry, coffee and pone again, 
and paying one dollar each for the entertainment of ourselves 
and horses, Ave continued our journey. 

Caldwell. — Late in the same evening we reached a hamlet, 
the " seat of justice " of Burleson County. We were obliged 
to leave our horses in a stable, made up of a roof, in which 
was a loft for the storage of provender, set upon posts, 
without side-boarding, so that the norther met with no ob- 
struction. It was filled with horses, and ours alone were 
blanketed for the night. The mangers were very shallow 
and narrow, and as the corn was fed on the cob, a consider- 
able proportion of it was thrown out by the horses in their 
efforts to detach the edible portion. • With laudable economy, 
our landlord had twenty-five or thirty pigs running at large 
in the stable, to prevent this overflow from being wasted. 

The " hotel " was an unusually large and fine one ; the 
principal room had glass windows. Several panes of these 
were, however, broken, and the outside door could not be 
closed from without ; and when closed, was generally pried 
open with a pocket-knife by those who wished to go out. 
A great part of the time it was left open. Supper was served 
in another room, in which there was no fire, and the outside 
door was left open for the convenience of the servants in 
passing to and from the kitchen, which, as usual here at 
large houses, was in a detached building. Supper was, how- 



6 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

ever, eaten with such rapidity that nothing had time to 
freeze on the table. 

There were six Texans, planters and herdsmen, who had 
made harbour at the inn for the norther, two German shop- 
keepers and a young lawyer, who were boarders, besides our 
party of three, who had to be seated before the fire. We 
kept coats and hats on, and gained as much warmth, from 
the friendly manner in which we drew together, as possible. 
After ascertaining, by a not at all impertinent or incon- 
siderate method of inquiry, where we were from, which way 
we were going, what we thought of the country, what we 
thought of the weather, and what were the capacities and the 
cost of our fire-arms, we were considered as initiated members 
of the crowd, and "the conversation became general." 

The matter of most interest came up in this wise : " The 
man made a white boy, fourteen or fifteen years old, get up 
and go out in the norther for wood, when there was a great, 
strong nigger fellow lying on the floor doing nothing. God ! 
I had an appetite to give him a hundred, right there." 

'■Why, you wouldn't go out into the norther yourself, 
would you, if you were not obliged to ?" inquired one, laugh- 
ingly. 

"I wouldn't have a nigger in my house that I was afraid 
to set to work, at anything I wanted him to do, at any time. 
They'd hired him out to go to a new place next Thursday, 
and they were afraid if they didn't treat him well, he'd run 
away. If I couldn't break a nigger of running away, I 
wouldn't have him any how." 

" I can tell you how you can break a nigger of running 
away, certain," said another. " There was an old fellow I 
used to know in Georgia, that always cured his so. If a 
nigger ran away, when he caught him, he would bind his 
knee over a log, and fasten him so he couldn't stir; then 



ROUTE ACROSS EASTERN TEXAS. / 

lie'd take a pair of pincers and pull one of Lis toe-nails out 
by the roots ; and tell him that if he ever run away again, 
he would pull out two of them, and if he run away again 
after that, he told them he'd pull out four of them, and so 
on, doubling each time. He never had to do it more than 
twice — it always cured them." 

One of the company then said that he was at the present 
time in pursuit of a negro. He had bought him of a rela- 
tive in Mississippi, and had been told that he was a great 
runaway. He had, in fact, run away from his relative three 
times, and always when they caught him he was trying to 
get bach to Illinois;* that was the reason he sold him. 
" He offered him to me cheap," he continued, "and I bought 
liim because he was a first-rate nigger, and I thought per- 
haps I could break him of running away by bringing him 
down to this new country. I expect he's making for Mexico 
now. I am a-most sure I saw his tracks on the road about 
twelve miles back, where he was a-corning on this way. 
Night before last I engaged with a man who's got some first- 
rate nigger dogs to meet me here to-night ; but I suppose 
the cold keeps him back." He then asked us to look out for 
liim as we went on west, and gave us a minute description of 
him that we might recognize him. He was " a real black 
nigger," and carried off a double-barrelled gun with him. 
Another man, who was going on by another road westward, 
offered to look for him that way, and to advertise him. 
Would he be likely to defend himself with the gun if he 
should try to secure him ? he asked. The owner said he 
had no doubt he would. He was as humble a nigger when 
he was at work as ever he had seen ; but he was a mighty 
resolute nigger — there was no man had more resolution. 
" Couldn't I induce him to let me take the gun by pretend- 

* Many freemen have been kilnapped in Illinois and sold into slavery. 



8 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

ing I wanted to look at it, or something ? I'd talk to him 
simple ; make as if I was a stranger, and ask him about the 
road, and so on, and finally ask him what he had got for a 
gun, and to let me look at it." The owner didn't believe 
he'd let go of the gun ; he was a " nigger of sense — as much 
sense as a white man ; he was not one of your kinkey-headed 
niggers." The chances of catching him were discussed. 
Some thought they were good, and some that the owner 
might almost as well give it up, he'd got such a start. It 
was three hundred miles to the Mexican frontier, and he'd 
have to make fires to cook the game he would kill, and could 
travel only at night ; but then every nigger or Mexican he 
could find would help him, and if he had so much sense, he'd 
manage to find out his way pretty straight, and yet not have 
white folks see him. 

We slept in a large upper room, in a company of five, with 
a broken window at the head of our bed, and another at our 
side, offering a short cut to the norther across our heads. 

We were greatly amused to see one of our bed-room com- 
panions gravely spit in the candle before jumping into bed, 
explaining to some one who made a remark, that he always 
did so, it gave him time to see what he was about before it 
went out. 

The next morning the ground was covered with sleet, and 
the gale still continued (a pretty steady close-reefing breeze) 
during the day. 

We wished to have a horse shod. The blacksmith, who 
was a white man, we found in his shop, cleaning a fowling- 
piece. It was too d d cold to work, he said, and he was 

going to shoot some geese ; he, at length, at our tu-gent 
request, consented to earn a dollar ; but, after getting on his 
apron, he found that we had lost a shoe, and took it off again, 
refusing to make a shoe while this d d norther lasted, 



ROUTE ACROSS EASTERN TEXAS. 9 

for any man. As lie had no shoes ready made, he abso- 
lutely turned us out of the shop, and obliged us to go 
seventy-five miles further, a great part of the way over a 
pebbly road, by which the beast lost three shoes before ho 
could be shod. 

This respect for the north wind is by no means singular 
here. The publication of the week's newspaper in Bastrop 
was interrupted by the norther, the editor mentioning, as a 
sufficient reason for the irregularity, the fact that his print- 
ing-office was in the north part of the house. 

Austin. — Before leaving Eastern Texas behind us, I must 
add a random note or two, the dates of which it would have 
been uncivil to indicate. 

We stopped one night at the house of a planter, now 
twenty years settled in Eastern Texas. He was a man of 
some education and natural intelligence, and had, he told us, 
an income, from the labour of his slaves, of some 84,000. 
His residence was one of the largest houses we had seen in 
Texas. It had a second story, two wings and a long gallery. 
Its windows had been once glazed, but now, out of eighty 
panes that originally filled the lower windows, thirty only 
remained unbroken. Not a door in the house had teen ever 
furnished with a latch or even a string ; when they were 
closed, it was necessary to claw or to ask some one inside to 
push open. (Yet we happened to hear a neighbour express- 
ing serious admiration of the way these doors fitted.) The 
furniture was of the rudest description. 

One of the family had just had a haemorrhage of the lungs ; 
while we were at supper, this person sat between the big fire- 
place and an open outside door, having a window, too, at his 
side, in which only three panes remained. A norther was 
blowing, and ice forming upon the gallery outside. Next day 



10 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

at breakfast, tlie invalid was unable to appear on account of a 
" bad turn." 

On our supper-table was nothing else than the eternal fry, 
pone and coffee. Butter, of dreadful odour, was here added 
by exception. Wheat flour they never used. It was " too 
much trouble." 

We were waited upon by two negro girls, dressed in short- 
waisted, twilled-cotton gowns, once white, now looking as if 
they had been worn by chimney-sweeps. The water for the 
family was brought in tubs upon the heads of these two girls, 
from a creek, a quarter of a mile distant, this occupation 
filling nearly all their time. 

This gentleman had thirty or forty negroes, and Wo legiti- 
mate sons. One was an idle young man. The other was, at 
eight years old, a swearing, tobacco-chewing bully and ruffian. 
We heard him whipping a puppy behind the house, and 
swearing between the blows, his father and mother being at 
hand. His language and tone was an evident imitation of 
his father's mode of dealing with his slaves. 

"I've got an account to settle with you; I've let you go 
about long enough ; I'll teach you who's your master ; there, 
go now, God damn you, but I havn't got through with you 
yet." 

"You stop that cursing," said his father, at length, "it 
isn't right for little boys to curse." 

" What do you do when you get mad ?" replied the boy ; 
" reckon you cuss some ; so now you'd better shut up." 

In the whole journey through Eastern Texas, we did not 
see one of the inhabitants look into a newspaper or a book, 
although we spent days in houses where men were lounging 
about the fire without occupation. One evening I took up a 
paper which had been lying unopened upon the table of the 



ROUTE ACROSS EASTERN TEXAS. 11 

inn where we were staying, and smiled to see how painfully 
news items dribbled into the Texas country papers, the loss of 
the tug-boat " Ajax," which occurred before we left New York, 
being here just given as the loss of the " splendid steamer Ocax." 

A man who sat near said — 

" Beckon you've read a good deal, hain't you ?" 

" Oh, yes ; why ?" 

" Keckon'd you had." 

"Why?" 

" You look as though you liked to read. Well, it's a good 
thing. S'pose you take a pleasure in reading, don't you ?" 

"That depends, of course, on what I have to read. I 
suppose everybody likes to read when they find anything 
interesting to them, don't they ?" 

" No ; it's damn tiresome to some folks, I reckon, anyhow, 
'less you've got the habit of it. Well, it's a good thing ; you 
can pass away your time so." 

The sort of interest taken in foreign affairs is well enough 
illustrated by the views of a gentleman of property in Eastern 
Texas, who was sitting with us one night, " spitting in the 
fire," and talking about cotton. Bad luck he had had — only 
four bales to the hand ; couldn't account for it — bad luck ; 
and next year he didn't reckon nothing else but that there 
would be a general war in Europe, and then he'd be in a 
pretty fix, with cotton down to four cents a pound. Curse 
those Turks ! If he thought there would be a general war, 

he would take every d d nigger he'd got, right down to 

New Orleans, and sell them for what they'd bring. They'd 
never be so high again as they were now, and if there should 
come a general war they wouldn't be worth half as much next 
ear. There always were infernal rascals somewhere in the 
world tryitig to prevent an honest man from getting a living. 



12 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

Oh, if they got to fighting, he hoped they'd eat each other 
up. They just ought to be, all of them — Turks, and Rus- 
sians, and Prussians, and Dutchmen, and Frenchmen — just 
be put in a bag together, and slung into hell. That's what 
he'd do with them. 

Remarking, one day, at the house of a woman who was 
brought up at the North, that there was much more comfort 
at her house than any we had previously stopped at, she told 
us that the only reason the people didn't have any comfort 
here was, that they wouldn't take amj trouble to get any- 
thing. Anything that their negroes could make they would 
eat ; but they would take no pains to instruct them, or to 
get anything that didn't grow on the plantation. A neighbour 
of hers owned fifty cows, she supposed, but very rarely had 
any milk and scarcely ever any butter, simply because his 
people were too lazy to milk or churn, and he wouldn't take 
the trouble to make them. 

This woman entirely sustained the assertion that Northern 
people, when they come to the South, have less feeling for 
the negroes than Southerners themselves usually have. We 
asked her (she lived in a village) whether she hired or owned 
her servants. They owned them ail, she said. When they 
first came to Texas they hired servants, but it was very 
troublesome ; they would take no interest in anything ; and 
she couldn't get along with them. Then very often their 
owners, on some pretext (ill-treatment, perhaps), would take 
them away. Then they bought negroes. It was very ex- 
pensive : a good negro girl cost seven or eight hundred 
dollars, and that, we must know, was a great deal of money 
to be laid out in a thing that might lie right down the next 
day and die. They were not much better either than the 
hired servants. 



ROUTE ACROSS EASTERN TEXAS. 13 

Folks up North talked about how badly the negroes were 
treated ; she wished they could see how much work her girls 
did. She had four of them, and she knew they didn't do half 
so much work as one good Dutch girl such as she used to 
have at the North. Oh ! the negroes were the laziest things 
in creation ; there was no knowing how much trouble they 
gave to look after them. Up to the North, if a girl went out 
into the garden for anything, when she came back she would 
clean her feet, but these nigger girls will stump right in and 
track mud all over the house. What do they care ? They'd 
just as lief clean the mud after themselves as anything else — 
their time isn't any value to themselves. What do they care 
for the trouble it gives you ? Not a bit. And you may 
scold 'em and whip 'em — you never can break 'em into better 
habits. 

I asked what were servants' wages when they were hired 
out to do housework ? They were paid seven or eight dollars 
a month ; sometimes ten. She didn't use to pay her girl at 
the North but four dollars, and she knew she would do more 
work than any six of the niggers, and not give half so much 
trouble as one. But you couldn't get any other help here 
but niggers. Northern folks talk about abolishing slavery, 
but there wouldn't be any use in that ; that would be ridicu- 
lous, unless you could some way get rid of the niggers. 
Why, they'd murder us all in our beds — that's what they'd 
do. Why, over to Fannin, there was a negro woman that 
killed her mistress with an axe, and her two little ones. The 
people just flocked together, and hung her right up on the 
spot ; they ought to have piled some wood round her, and 
burned her to death ; that would have been a good lesson to 
the rest. We afterwards heard her scolding one of her girls , 
the girl made some exculpatory reply, and getting the best 
of the argument, the mistress angrily told her if she said 



14 COTTON ASD SLAVERY. 

another word she would have two hundred lashes given her. 
She came in and remarked that if she hadn't felt so nervous 
she would have given that girl a good whipping herself; 
these niggers are so saucy, it's very trying to one who has to 
take care of them. 

Servants are, it is true, " a trial," in all lands, ages, and 
nations. But note the fatal reason this woman frankly gives 
for the inevitable delinquencies of slave-servants, " Theit 
time isn't any value to themselves !" 

The women of Eastern Texas seemed to us, in general, far 
superior to their lords. They have, at least, the tender 
hearts and some of the gentle delicacy that your " true 
Texan " lacks, whether mistresses of slaves, or only of their 
own frying-pan. They are overworked, however, as soon as 
married, and care gives them thin faces, sallow complexions, 
and expressions either sad or sour. 

Another night we spent at the house of a man who came 
here, when a boy, from the North. His father was a 
mechanic, and had emigrated to Texas just before the war of 
Independence. He joined the army, and his son had been 
brought up — rather had grown up — Southern fashion, with 
no training to regular industry. He had learned no trade. 
What need ? His father received some thousand acres of 
land in payment of his services. The son earned some 
money by driving a team ; bought some cattle, took a wife, 
and a house, and now had been settled six years, with a young 
family. He had nothing to do but look after his cattle, go 
to the nearest town and buy meal and coffee occasionally, and 
sell a few oxen when the bill was sent in. His house was 
more comfortless than nine-tenths of the stables of the North. 
There were several windows, some of which were boarded 
over, some had wooden shutters, and some were entirely open. 
There was not a pane of glass. The doors were closed with 



ROUTE ACROSS EASTERN TEXAS. 15 

difficulty. We could see the stars, as we lay in bed, through 
the openings of the roof ; and on all sides, in the walls of 
the room, one's arm might he thrust out. Notwithstanding, 
that night the mercury fell below 25° of our Fahrenheit 
thermometer. There was the standard food and beverage, 
placed before us night and morning. We asked if there was 
much game near him ? There were a great many deer. He 
saw them every day. Did he shoot many ? He never shot 
any; 'twas too much trouble. When he wanted "fresh," 
'twas easier to go out and stick a hog (the very words he 
used) . He had just corn enough to give our horses one feed 
— there was none left for the morning. His own horses 
could get along through the winter on the prairie. He made 
pets of his children, but was cross and unjust to his wife, who 
might have been pretty, and was affectionate. He was with- 
out care — thoughtless, content, with an unoccupied mind. 
He took no newspaper — be read nothing. There was, 
indeed, a pile of old books which his father had brought from 
the North, but they seemed to be all of the Tract Society 
sort, and the dust had been undisturbed upon them, it might 
have been, for many years. 

Manehao Spring. — We found a plantation that would 
have done no discredit to Virginia. The house was large 
and well constructed, standing in a thick grove, separated 
from the prairie by a strong worm-fence. Adjacent, within, 
was the spring, which deserved its prominence of mention 
upon the maps. It had been tastefully grottoed with heavy 
limestone rocks, now water-stained and mossy, and the pure 
stream came gurgling up, in impetuous gallons, to pour 
itself in a bright current out upon the prairie. The foun- 
tains of Italy were what came to mind, and " Fontana de 
Manciocco " would have secured a more natural name. 



16 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

Everything about the house was orderly and neat. The 
proprietor came out to receive us, and issued orders about the 
horses, which we felt, from then quiet tone, would be obeyed 
without our supervision. When we were ushered into a 
snug supper-room and found a clean table set with wheat- 
bread, ham, tea, and preserved fruits, waited on by tidy 
and ready girls, we could scarce think we had not got beyond 
the bounds of Texas. We were, in fact, quit, for some time 
to come, of the lazy poverty of Eastern Texas. 

Loiver Guadaloupe. — Not finding a suitable camping 
place, we stumbled, after dark, into a large plantation upon 
the river bottom. 

The irruption of our train within the plantation fences 
caused a furious commotion among the dogs and little ne- 
groes, and it was with no little difficulty we could explain to 
the planter, who appeared with a candle, which was instantly 
blown out upon the porch, our peaceable intentions. Finally, 
after a general striking out of Fanny's heels and the master's 
boots, aided by the throwing of our loose lariats into the 
confused crowd, the growling and chattering circle about us 
was sufficiently enlarged and subdued for us to obtain a hear- 
ing, and we were hospitably received. 

" Ho, Sam ! You Tom, here ! Call your missus. Suke ! 
if you don't stop that infernal noise I'll have you drowned ! 
Here, Bill ! Josh ! some of you ! why don't you help the 
gentleman ? Bring a lantern here ! Packed, are you, sir. 
Hold on, you there ; leave the gun alone. Now, clear out 
with you, you little devils, every one of you ! Is there no 
one in the house ? St ! after 'em, Tiger ! Can't any of you 
find a lantern ? Where's Bill, to take these horses ? What 
are you doing there ? I tell you to be off, now, every one of 
you ! Tom ! take a rail and keep 'em off there ! " 



ROUTE ACROSS EASTERN TEXAS. 17 

Iii the midst of the noise we go through the familiar mo- 
tions, and land our saddles and hampers upon the gallery, 
then follow what appears to be the headmost negro to the 
stable, and give him a hint to look well out for the horses. 

This is our first reintroduction to negro servants after our 
German experiences, and the contrast is most striking and 
disagreeable. Here were thirty or forty slaves, but not an 
order could be executed without more reiteration, and threats, 
and oaths, and greater trouble to the master and mistress, 
than would be needed to get a. squadron under way. We 
heard the master threaten his negroes with flogging, at least 
six times, before we went to bed. In the night a heavy rain 
came up, and he rose, on hearing it, to arrange the cistern 
spout, cursing again his infernal niggers, who had turned it 
off for some convenience of their own. In the morning, we 
heard the mistress scolding her girls for having left articles 
outside which had been spoiled by the wet, after repeated 
orders to bring them in. On visiting the stables we found 
the door fastened by a board leaned against it. 

All the animals were loose, except the mule, which I had 
fastened myself. The rope attached to my saddle was stolen, 
and a shorter one substituted for it, when I mentioned the 
fact, by which I was deceived, until we were too far off to 
return. The master, seeing the horses had yet had no fodder, 
called to a boy to get some for them, then, countermanding 
his order, told the boy to call some one else, and go himself 
to chive the cows out of the garden. Then, to another boy, 
he said, " Go and pull two or three bundles of fodder out of 
the stack and give these horses." The boy soon came with 
two small bundles. " You infernal rascal, couldn't you tote 
more fodder than that ? Go back and bring four or five 
bundles, and be quick about it, or I'll lick you." The 
boy walked slowly back, and returned with four bundles more. 

VOL. II. 



18 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

But on entering at night we were struck with the air of 
comfort that met us. We were seated in rocking-chairs in a 
well-furnished room, before a blazing fire, offered water to 
wash, in a little lean-to bed-room, and, though we had two 
hours to wait for our supper, it was most excellent, and we 
passed an agreeable evening in intelligent conversation with 
our host. 

After his cmiosity about us was satisfied, we learned from 
him that, though a young man, he was an old settler, and 
had made a comfortable fortune by his plantation. His wife 
gave us a picturesque account of their waggon journey here 
with their people, and described the hardships, dangers, 
and privations they had at first to endure. Now they were 
far more comfortable than they could have ever hoped to 
have been in the State from which they came. They thought 
then farm the best cotton land in the world. It extended 
across a mile of timbered bottom land from the river, then 
over a mile of bottom prairie, and included a large tract of 
the big prairie "for range." Their field would produce, in a 
favourable season, three bales to the acre ; ord'inarily a bale 
and a half: the " bale " 400 lbs. They had always far more 
than their hands could pick. It was much more free from 
weeds than the States, so much so, that three hands would 
be needed there to cultivate the same area as two here ; 
that is, with the same hands the crop would be one-third 
greater. 

But so anxious is every one in Texas to give all strangers 
a favourable impression, that all statements as to the extreme 
profit and healthfulness of lands must be taken with a grain 
of allowance. We found it very difficult, without impertinent 
persistence, to obtain any unfavourable facts. Persons not 
interested informed us, that from one-third to one-half the 
cotton crop on some of these rich plantations had been cut off 



ROUTE ACROSS EASTERN TEXAS. 19 

by the worm, on several occasions, and that negroes suffered 
much with dysentery and pneumonia. 

It cost them very little to haul their cotton to the coast or 
to get supplies. They had not been more sickly than they 
would have been on the Mississippi. They considered that 
their steady sea-breeze was almost a sure preventive of such 
diseases as they had higher up the country. 

They always employed German mechanics, and spoke well 
of them. Mexicans were regarded in a somewhat unchristian 
tone, not as heretics or heathen, to be converted with flannel 
and tracts, but rather as vermin, to be exterminated. The 
lady was particularly strong in her prejudices. White folks 
and Mexicans were never made to live together, anyhow, and 
the Mexicans had no business here. They were getting so 
impertinent, and were so well protected by the laws, that the 
Americans would just have to get together and drive them 
all out of the country. 

On the Chockolate. — " Which way did you come ?" asked 
some one of the old man. 

« From ." 

" See anything of a runaway nigger over there, anywhar ?" 

" No, sir. What kind of a nigger was it ?" 

" A small, black, screwed-up-faced nigger." 

" How long has he been out ?" 

" Nigh two weeks." 

" Whose is he ?" 

" Judge ■ — ■ — 's, up here. And he cut the judge right 
bad. Like to have killed the judge. Cut his young master, 
too." 

" Eeckon, if they caught him, 'twould go rather hard with 
him." 

" Eeckon 'twould. We caught him once, but he got away 

r O 



20 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

from us again. We was just tying his feet together, and he 
give me a kick in the face, and hroke. I had my six-shooter 
handy, and I tried to shoot him, hut every barrel missed fire. 
Been loaded a week. We shot at him three times with rifles, 
but he'd got too far off, and we didn't hit, but we must have 
shaved him close. We chased him, and my dog got close to 
him once. If he'd grip'd him, we should have got him ; but 
he had a dog himself, and just as my dog got within about a 
yard of him, his dog turned and fit my dog, and he hurt him 
so bad we couldn't get him to run him again. We run him 
close, though, I tell you. Eun him out of his coat, and his 
boots, and a pistol he'd got. But 'twas getting towards dark, 
and he got into them bayous, and kept swimming from one 
side to another." 

" How long ago was that ?" 

" Ten days." 

" If he's got across the river, he'd get to the Mexicans in 
two days, and there he'd be safe. The Mexicans'd take care 
of him." 

" What made him run ?" 

" The judge gave him a week at Christmas, and when 
the week was up, I s'pose he didn't want to go to work 
again. He got unruly, and they was a goin' to whip 
him." 

" Now, how much happier that fellow 'd 'a' been, if he'd just 
stayed and done his duty. He might have just worked and 
done his duty, and his master 'd 'a' taken care of him, and 
given him another week when Christmas come again, and he'd 
'a' had nothing to do but enjoy himself again. These niggers, 
none of 'em, knows how much happier off they are than if 
they was free. Now, very likely, he'll starve to death, or 
get shot." 

" Oh, the judge treats his niggers too kind. If he was 



BOUTE ACllOSS EASTERN TEXAS. 21 

stricter with them, they'd have more respect for him, and be 
more contented, too." 

" Never do to be too slack with niggers." 

We were riding in company, to-day, with a California 
drover, named Rankin. He was in search of cattle to drive 
across the plains. He had taken a drove before from Illinois, 
and told us that people in that State, of equal circumstances, 
lived ten times better than here, in all matters of comfort and 
refinement. He had suffered more in travelling in Texas, 
than ever on the plains or the mountains. Not long before, 
in driving some mules with his partner, they came to a house 
which was the last on the road for fourteen miles. They had 
nothing in the world in the house but a few ears of corn, they 
were going to grind in their steel mill for their own breakfast, 
and wouldn't sell on any terms. " We hadn't eaten anything 
since breakfast, but we actually could get nothing. The only 
other thing in the cabin, that could be eaten, was a pile of 
deer-skins, with the hair on. We had to stake our mules, 
and make a fire, and coil around it.' About twelve o'clock 
there came a norther. We heard it coming, and it made us 
howl. We didn't sleep a wink for cold." 

Houston. — We were sitting on the gallery of the hotel. A 
tall, jet black negro came up, leading by a rope a downcast 
mulatto, whose hands were lashed by a cord to his waist, and 
whose face was horribly cut, and dripping with blood. The 
wounded man crouched and leaned for support against one of 
the columns of the gallery — faint and sick. 

" What's the matter with that boy ?" asked a smoking 
lounger. 

" I run a fork into his face," answered the negro. 

" What are his hands tied for ?" 



22 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

"He's a runaway, sir." 

"Did you catch him ?" 

" Yes, sir. He was hiding in the hay-loft, and when I 
went up to throw some hay to the horses, I pushed the fork 
down into the mow and it struck something hard. I didn't 
know what it was, and I pushed hard, and gave it a turn, and 
then he hollered, and I took it out." 

" What do you hring him here, for ?" 

" Come for the key of the jail, sir, to lock him up." 

" What !" said another, " one darkey catch another darkey ? 
Don't believe that story." 

" Oh yes, mass'r, I tell for true. He was down in our 
hay-loft, and so you see when I stab him, I have to catch 
him." 

" Why, he's hurt bad, isn't he ?" 

" Yes, he says I pushed through the bones." 

" Whose nigger is he ?" 

" He says he belong to Mass'r Frost, sir, on the Brazos." 

The key was soon brought, and the negro led the mulatto 
away to jail. He walked away limping, crouching, and writh- 
ing, as if he had received other injuries than those on his face. 
The bystanders remarked that the negro had not probably 
told the whole story. 

We afterwards happened to see a gentleman on horseback, 
and smoking, leading by a long rope through the deep mud, 
out into the country, the poor mulatto, still limping and 
crouching, his hands manacled, and his arms pinioned. 

There is a prominent slave-mart in town, which holds a 
large lot of likely -looking negroes, waiting purchasers. In the 
windows of shops, and on the doors and columns of the hotel, 
are many written advertisements, headed " A likely negro girl 
for sale." " Two negroes for sale." " Twenty negro boys 
for sale," etc. 



ROUTE ACROSS EASTERN TEXAS. 23 

South-eastern Texas. — We were unable to procure at Hou- 
ston any definite information with regard to our proposed 
route. The known roads thence are those that brand 1 north- 
ward and westward from their levee, and so thoroughly within 
lines of business does local knowledge lie, that the eastern 
shore is completely terra incognita. The roads east were said 
to be bad after heavy rains, but the season had been dry, and 
we determined to follow the direct and the distinct road, laid 
down upon our map. 

Now that I am in a position to give preliminary information, 
however, there is no reason why the reader should enter this 
region as ignorant as we did. 

Our route took us by Harrisburg and San Jacinto to Liberty, 
upon the Trinity ; thence by Beaumont to the Sabine at Tur- 
ner's ferry ; thence by the Big Woods and Lake Charles to 
Opelousas, the old capital of St. Landry Parish, at the western 
head of the intricate navigation froni New Orleans. 

This large district, extending from the Trinity Eiver to the 
bayous of the Mississippi, has, throughout, the same general 
characteristics, the principal of which are, lowness, flatness, 
and wetness. The soil is variable, but is in greater part a 
loose, sandy loam, covered with coarse grasses, forming level 
prairies, which are everywhere broken by belts of pine forests, 
usually bordering creeks and bayous, but often standing in 
islands. The surface is but very slightly elevated above the 
sea ; I suppose, upon an average, less than ten feet. It is, 
consequently, imperfectly drained, and in a wet season a large 
proportion is literally covered with water, as in crossing it, 
even in a dry time, we were obliged to wade through many 
miles of marshy pools. The river-bottoms, still lower than 
the general level, are subject to constant overflow by tide- 
water, and what with the fallen timber, the dense undergrowth, 
the mire-quags, the abrupt gullies, the patches of rotten or 



24 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

floating corduroy, and three or four feet of dirty salt water, the 
roads through them are not such as one would choose for a 
morning ride. The country is sparsely settled, containing 
less than one inhabitant to the square mile, one in four being 
a slave. 

The many pools, through which the usual track took us, 
were swarming with venemous water-snakes, four or five 
black moccasins often lifting at once their devilish heads 
above the dirty surface, and wriggling about our horses' 
heels. Beyond the Sabine, alligator holes are an additional 
excitement, the unsuspicious traveller suddenly sinking through 
the treacherous surface, and sometimes falling a victim, horse 
and all, to the hideous jaws of the reptile, while overwhelmed 
by the engulfing mire in which he lurks. 

Upon the whole, this is not the spot in which I should 
prefer to come to light, burn, and expire ; in fact, if the 
nether regions, as was suggested by the dream-gentleman of 
Nachitoches, be "a boggy country," the avernal entrance 
might, I should think, with good probabilities, be looked for 
in this region. 

We passed, on both sides the Sabine, many abandoned 
farms, and the country is but thinly settled. We found it 
impossible to obtain any information about roads, and fre- 
quently went astray upon cattle paths, once losing twenty 
miles in a day's journey. The people were chiefly herds- 
men, cultivating a little cotton upon river-banks, but ordinarily 
only com, with a patch of cane to furnish household sugar. 
We tried in vain to purchase corn for our horses, and were 
told that " folks didn't make corn enough to bread them, and 
if anybody had corn to give his horse, he carried it in his hat 
and went out behind somewhere." The herds were in poor 
condition, and must in winter be reduced to the verge of 
starvation. We saw a few hogs, converted, by hardship, to 



ROUTE ACROSS EASTERN TEXAS. ZO 

figures so unnatural, that we at first took them for goats. 
Most of the people we met were old emigrants, from Southern 
Louisiana and Mississippi, and more disposed to gaiety and 
cheer than the Texan planters. The houses showed a ten- 
dency to Louisiana forms, and the table to a French style of 
serving the jerked beef, which is the general dish of the 
country. The meat is dried in strips, over smoky fires, and, 
if untainted and well prepared, is a tolerably savoury food. 
I hardly know whether to chronicle it as a border barbarism, 
or a Creolism, that we were several times, in this neighbour- 
hood, shown to a bed standing next to that occupied by the 
host and his wife, sometimes with the screen of a shawl, 
sometimes without. 

We met with one specimen of the Virginia habit of "dip- 
ping," or snuff- chewing, in the person of a woman who was 
otherwise neat and agreeable, and observed that a young 
lady, well-dressed, and apparently engaged, while we were 
present, in reading, went afterward to light her pipe at the 
kitchen fire, and had a smoke behind the house. 

The condition of the young men appeared to incline de- 
cidedly to barbarism. We stopped a night at a house in 
which a drover, bringing mules froni Mexico, was staying ; 
and, with the neighbours who had come to look at the 
drove, we were thirteen men at table. When speaking with 
us, all were polite and respectful, the women especially so ; 
but among one another, their coarseness was incredible. The 
master of the house, a well-known gentleman of the county, 
who had been absent when we arrived, and at supper-time, 
came afterwards upon the gallery and commenced cursing 
furiously, because some one had taken his pipe. Seeing us, 
he stopped abruptly, and after fighting the pipe, said, in a 
rather peremptory and formal, but not uncourteous tone: 
" Where are you from, gentlemen ?" 



26 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

" From Beaumont, sir, last." 

" Been out West ?" 

"Yes, sir." 

" Travelling ?'' 

" Yes, sir." 

After pausing a moment to make up his mind — 

" Where do you live when you are at home, gentlemen, 
and what's your business in this country ?" 

" We live in New York, and are travelling to see the 
country." 

"How do you like it?" 

" Just here we find it flat and wet." 

" What's your name ?" 

" Olmsted." 

" And what's this gentleman's name ?" 

" Olmsted." 

" Is it a Spanish name ?" 

"No, sir." 

He then abruptly left us, and the young men entertained 
one another with stories of fights and horse-trades, and with 
vulgar obscenities. 

Shortly he returned, saying — 

" Show you to bed now, gentlemen, if you wish." 

" We are ready, sir, if you will be good enough to get a 
light." 

"Alight?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"A light r 

" Yes, sir." 

" Get a light ?" 

" Yes, sir." 

"Well" (after a moment's hesitation), " I'll get one.' 5 

On reaching the bed-room, which was in a building adjoin^ 



ROUTE ACROSS EASTERN TEXAS. 27 

ing, he stood awaiting our pleasure. Thanking him, I turned 
to take the light, but his fingers were the candlestick. He 
continued to hold it, and six young men, who had followed us, 
stood grouped around while we undressed, placing our clothes 
upon the floor. Judy advanced to lie down by them. One 
of the young men started forward, and said — 

" I've got a right good knife." 

" What ?" 

" I've got a right good knife, if you want it." 

" What do you mean ?" 

" Nothing, only I've got a right good knife, and if you'd 
like to kill that dog, I'll lend it to you." 

" Please to tell me what you mean ?" 

" Oh, nothing." 

" Keep your dog quiet, or I'll kill her," I suppose was the 
interpretation. When we had covered ourselves in bed, the 
host said — 

" I suppose you don't want the light no more ?" 

" No, sir ;" and all bade us good night ; but leaving the 
door open, commenced feats of prolonged dancing, or stamp- 
ing upon the gallery, which were uproariously applauded. 
Then came more obscenities and profanities, apropos to 
fandango frolics described by the drovers. As we had barely 
got to sleep, several came to occupy other beds in our room. 
They had been drinking freely, and continued smoking in bed. 

Upon the floor lay two boys of fourteen, who continued 
shouting and laughing after the others had at length become 
quiet. Some one soon said to one of them — 

" You had better stop your noise ; Frank says he'll be 
damn'd if he don't come in and give you a hiding." 

Frank was trying to sleep upon the gallery. 

"By ," the boy cried, raising himself, and drawing a 

coat from under the pillow, " if he comes in here, I'll be damn'd 



28 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

if I don't kill him. He dare not come in here. I would like 
to see him come in here," drawing from his coat pocket a 

revolver, and cocking it. " By , you may come in here 

now. Come in here, come in here ! Do you here that ?" 

(revolving the pistol rapidly). " damn me, if I don't kill 

you, if you come near the door." 

This continued without remonstrance for some time, when 
he lay down, asking his companion for a light for his pipe, 
and continuing the noisy conversation until we fell asleep. 
The previous talk had been much of knife and pistol fights 
which had taken place in the county. The same boy was 
obliging and amiable the next morning, assisting us to bring 
in and saddle the horses at our departure. 

One of the men here was a Yankee, who had lived so long 
in the Slave States that he had added to his original rural- 
isms a very complete collection of Southemisms, some of which 
were of the richest we met with. He had been in the Texas 
Rangers, and, speaking of the "West, said he had been up 
round the head of the Guadaloupe " heaps and cords of times," 
at the same time giving us a very picturesque account of the 
county. Speaking of wolves, he informed us that on the 
San Jacinto there were " any dimensions of them." Obsti- 
nacy, in his vocabulary, was represented by " damnation 
cussedness." He was unable to conceive of us in any other 
light than as two peddlers who had mistaken their ground in 
coming here. 

At another house where we stopped (in which, by the way, 
we ate our supper by the light of ' pine knots blazing in the 
chimney, with an apology for the absence of candles), we 
heard some conversation upon a negro of the neighbourhood, 
who had been sold to a free negro, and who refused to live 
with him, saying he wouldn't be a servant to a nigger. All 
agreed that he was right, although the man was well known 



LOUISIANA. 29 

to be kind to his negroes, and would always sell any of them 
who wished it. The slave had been sold because he wouldn't 
mind. " If I had a negro that wouldn't mind," said the 
woman of the house, " I'd break his head, or I'd sell him ; 
I wouldn't have one about me." Her own servant was stand- 
ing behind her. "I do think it would be better if there 
wasn't any niggers in the world, they do behave so bad, some 
of 'em. They steal just 1 ike hogs." 

South-western Louisiana. — Soon after crossing the Sabine, 
we entered a " hummock," or tract of more fertile, oak-bearing 
land, known as the Big Woods. The soil is not rich, but 
produces cotton, in good seasons nearly a bale to the acre, 
and the limited area is fully occupied. Upon one plantation 
we found an intelligent emigrant from Mississippi, who had 
just bought the place, having stopped on his way into Texas, 
because the time drew near for the confinement of his 
wife. Many farms are bought by emigrants, he said, 
from such temporary considerations : a child is sick, or a 
horse exhausted ; they stop for a few weeks ; but summer 
comes, and they conclude to put in a crop, and often never 
move again. 

It was before reaching the Big Woods, that alligator-holes 
were first pointed out to us, with a caution to avoid them. 
They extend from an aperture, obliquely, under ground, to a 
large cavern, the walls of which are puddled by the motions 
of the animal ; and, being partly filled with water, form a 
comfortable amphibious residence. A horseman is liable, not 
only to breaking through near the orifice, but to being pre- 
cipitated into the den itself, where he will find awaiting him, a 
disagreeable mixture of mire and angry jaws. In the deep 
water of the bottoms, we met with no snakes ; but the pools 
were everywhere alive with them. We saw a great variety 



30 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

of long-legged birds , apparently on friendly terms with all 
the reptiles. 

A day's journey took us through the Big Woods, and across 
Calcasieu to Lake Charles. We were not prepared to find 
the Calcasieu a superb and solemn river, two hundred and 
thirty yards across and forty-five feet deep. It is navigable 
for forty miles, but at its mouth has a bar, on which is some- 
times only eighteen inches of water, ordinarily thirty inches. 
Schooners of light draft ascend it, bringing supplies, and 
taking out the cotton raised within its reach. Lake Charles 
is an insignificant village, upon the bank of a pleasant, clear 
lakelet, several miles in extent. 

From the Big Woods to Opelousas, there was no change in 
the monotonous scenery. Everywhere extended the immense 
moist plain, being alternate tracts of grass and pine. Nearer 
Opelousas, oak appears in groups with the pine, and the soil 
is darker and more fertile. Here the land was mostly taken 
up, partly by speculators, in view of the Opelousas Bailway, 
then commenced. But, in all the western portion of the dis- 
trict, the land is still government property, and many of the 
people squatters. Sales are seldom made, but the estimated 
price of the land is fifty cents an acre. 

Some of the timbered land, for a few years after clearing, 
yields good crops of corn and sweet potatoes. Cotton is 
seldom attempted, and sugar only for family use. Oats are 
sometimes grown, but the yield is small, and seldom thrashed 
from the straw. We noted one field of poor rye. So wet a 
region and so warm a climate suggested rice, and, were the 
land sufficiently fertile, it would, doubtless, become a staple 
production. It is now only cultivated for home use, the 
bayou bottoms being mdely arranged for flowing the crop. 
But without manure no profitable return can be obtained 
from breaking the prairie, and the only system of manuring 



LOUISIANA. 31 

in use is that of ploughing up occasionally the cow-pens of 
the herdsmen. 

The road was now distinctly marked enough, hut had fre- 
quent and embarrassing forks, which occasioned us almost as 
much annoyance as the clouds of musquitoes which, east of the 
Sabine, hovered continually about our horses and our heads. 
Notions of distance we found incredibly vague. At Lake 
Charles we were informed that the exact distance to Opelousas 
was ninety-six miles. After riding eight hours, we were 
told by a respectable gentleman that the distance from his 
house was one hundred and twenty miles. The next evening 
the distance was forty miles ; and the following evening a 
gentleman who met us stated first that it was " a good long 
way;" next, that it was "thirty or forty miles, and damn'd 
long ones, too." About four miles beyond him, we reached 
the twentieth mile-post. 

Across the bayous of any size, bridges had been constructed, 
but so rudely built of logs that the traveller, where possible, 
left them for a ford. 

The people, after passing the frontier, changed in every 
prominent characteristic. French became the prevailing 
language, and French the prevailing manners. The gruff 
Texan bidding, " Sit up, stranger; take some fry !" became a 
matter of recollection, of which " Monsieur, la soupe est servie,'' 
was the smooth substitute. The good-nature of the people 
was an incessant astonishment. If we inquired the way, a 
contented old gentleman waddled out and showed us also his 
wife's house-pet, an immense white crane, his big crop of 
peaches, his old fig-tree, thirty feet in diameter of shade, and 
to his wish of " bon voyage " added for each a bouquet of the 
jessamines we were admiring. The homes were homes, not 
settlements on speculation ; the house, sometimes of logs, ii; 
is true, but hereditary logs, and more often of smooth lumber. 



32 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

with dee]) and spreading galleries on all sides for the coolest 
comfort. For form, all ran or tended to run to a peaked and 
many-chimneyed centre, with, here and there, a suggestion of 
a dormar window. Not all were provided with figs and jes- 
samines, but each had some inclosure betraying good intentions. 

The monotonous landscape did not invite to loitering, and 
we passed but three nights in houses by the road. The first 
was that of an old Italian-French emigrant, known as " Old 
Man Corse." He had a name of his own, which he recalled 
for us, but in forty years it had been lost and superseded by 
this designation, derived from his birth-place, the island of 
Corsica. This mixture of nationalities in language must be 
breeding for future antiquaries a good deal of amusing labour. 
Next day we were recommended to stop at Jack Bacon's, 
and, although we would have preferred to avoid an Ameri- 
can's, did so rather than go further, and found our Jack 
Bacon a Creole, named Jacques Beguin. This is equal to 
Tuckapaw and Nakitosh, the general pronunciation of Atta- 
kapas and Nachitoches. 

The house of Old Man Corse stood in the shade of oaks, 

figs, and cypresses, upon the bank of a little bayou, looking 

out upon the broad prairie. It was large and comfortable, 

with wide galleries and dormar windows, supported by a 

negro-hut and a stable. Ornamental axe-work and rude 

decorative joinery were abundant. The roof was of large 

split shingles, much warped in the sun. As we entered and 

took seats by the fire, the room reminded us, with its big 

fire-place, and old smoke-stained and time-toned cypress 

beams and ceiling, and its rude but comfortable aspect, of the 

Acadian fireside : 

" In doors, warm by the wide-mouthed fire-place, idly the farmer 
Sat in his elbow-chair, and watched how the flames and the smoke-wreaths 
Struggled together, like foes in a burning city. Behind him, 
Nodding and mocking along the wall, with gestures fantastic, 



LOUISIANA. 33 

Darted his own huge shadow, and vanished away into darkness, 
Faces, clumsily carved in oak, on the back of his arm-chair, 
Laughed in the flickering light, and the pewter plates on the dresser 
Caught and reflected the flame, as shields of armies the sunshine." 

The tall, elderly, busy housewife bustled about with pre- 
parations for supper, while we learned that they had been 
settled here forty years, and had never had reason to regret 
their emigration. The old man had learnt French, but no 
English. The woman could speak some " American," as she 
properly termed it. Asking her about musquitoes, we re- 
ceived a reply in French, that they were more abundant 
some years than others ; then, as no quantitative adjective of 
sufficient force occurred to her, she added, " Three years ago, 
oh ! heaps of musquitoes, sir, heaps! worse as now." 

She laid the table to the last item, and prepared everything 
nicely, but called a negro girl to wait upon us. The girl 
stood quiet behind us, the mistress helping us, and practically 
anticipating all our wants. 

The supper was of venison, in ragout, with a sauce that ' 
savoured of the south of France ; there was a side dish of 
hominy, a jug of sweet milk, and wheat-bread in loaf — the 
first since Houston. 

In an evening smoke, upon the settle, we learned that there 
were many Creoles about here, most of whom learned English, 
and had their children taught English at the schools. The 
Americans would not take the trouble to learn French. Thev 
often intermarried. A daughter of their own was the wife of 
an American neighbour. We asked if they knew of a dis- 
tinct people here called Acadians. Oh yes, they knew many 
settled in the vicinity, descended from some nation that came 
here in the last century. They had now no peculiarities. 
There were but few free negroes just here, but at Opelousas 
and Niggerville there were many, some of whom were rich 

VOL. tt. r, 



34 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

and owned slaves, though a part were unmixed black in colour. 
They kept pretty much by themselves, not attempting to 
enter white society. 

As we went to look at our horses, two negroes followed us 
to the stable. 

" Dat horse a Tennessee horse, mass'r," said one. 

" Yes, he was born in Tennessee." 

"Bom in Tennessee and raised by a Dutchman," said the 
other, sotto voce, I suppose, quoting a song. 

" Why, were you born in Tennessee ?" I asked. 

" No, sar, I was born in dis State." 

" How comes it you speak English so much better than 
your master ?" 

" Ho, ho, my old mass'r, he don' speak it at all ; my missus 
she speak it better 'n my raasy'r do, but you see I war raised 
on de parara, to der eastward, whur thar's heaps of 'Mericans ; 
so I larned it good." 

He spoke it, with a slight accent, while the other, whom 
he called Uncle Tom, I observed did not. I asked Uncle 
Tom if he was born in the State. 

"No, sar! I was born in Varginmj ! in ole Yarginny, 
mass'r. I was raised in — - — county [in the West]. I was 
twenty-two year ole when I came away from thar, and I've 
been in this country, forty year come nest Christmas." 

" Then you are sixty years old." 

" Yes, sar, amos' sixty. But I'd like to go back to Yar- 
ginny. Ho, ho ! I 'ould like to go back and live in ole 
Yarginny, again." 

" Why so ? I thought niggers generally liked this coun- 
try best — I've been told so — because it is so warm here." 

" Ho, ho ! it's mos' too warm here, sometime, and I can't 
work at my trade here. Sometimes for three months I don' 
go in my shop, on'y Sundays to work for rnysef." 



LOUISIANA. 35 

" What is your trade ?" 

" I'm a blacksmith, mass'r. I used to work at blacksmith- 
ing all the time in ole Virginny, ironin' waggons, and shoein' 
horses for the folks that work in the mines. But here, can't 
get nothun' to do. In this here sile, if you sharpen up a 
plough in the spring o' the year, it'll last all summer, and 
horses don' want shoeing once a year, here on the parara. 
I've got a good mass'r here, tho' ; the ole man ain't hard on 
his niggers." 

" Was your master hard in Virginia ?" 

" Well, I wos hired to different mass'rs, sar, thar, afore I 
wos sole off. I was sole off to a sheriff's sale, mass'r : I wos 
sole for fifteen hunerd an' fifty dollars ; I fetched that on the 
block, cash, I did, and the man as bought me he brung me 
down here, and sole me for two thousand two hunerd 
dollars." 

" That was a good price ; a very high price in those days." 

<r Yes, sar, it was that — ho, ho, ho ! It was a man by the 

name of -, from Tennessee, what bought me. He made a 

business of goin' roun' and buyin' up people, and bring-in' 'em 
down here, speculatin' on 'em. Ho, ho ! he did well that 
time. But I'd 'a' liked it better, for all that, to have stayed 
in ole Yarginny. 'Tain't the heat, tho' it's too hot here 
sometimes ; but you know, sar, I was born and raised in Var- 
ginny, and seems like 'twould be pleasant er to live thar. It's 
kinder natural to people to hanker arter the place they wos 
raised in. Ho, ho ! I'd like it a heap better, tho' this ok 
man's a good mass'r ; never had no better mass'r." 

" 1 suppose you became a Catholic after you got here ?" 

"Yes, sar" (hesitatingly). 

" I suppose all the people are Catholics here ?" 

" Here ? Oh, no, sar ; they was whar I wos first in this 
here country; they wos all Catholics there." 

d 2 



36 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

" Well, they are all Catholics here, too — ain't they ?" 

" Here, sar? Here, sar ? Oh, no, sar !" 

" Why, your master is not a Protestant, is he ?" 

After two deep groans, he replied in a whisper : 

" Oh, sar, they don' have no meetin' o' no kind, roun' 
here !" 

" There are a good many free negroes in this country, 
ain't there ?" 

" What ! here, sar ? Oh, no, sar ; no such good luck as 
that in this country." 

" At Opelousas, I understood, there were a good many." 

" Oh, but them wos born free, sar, under old Spain, sar." 

" Yes, those I mean." 

" Oh, yes, there's lots o' them ; some of 'em rich, and 
some of 'em — a good many of 'em — goes to the penitentiary 
— you know what that is. White folks goes to the peni- 
tenti'ry, too — ho ! ho ! — sometimes." 

" I have understood many of them were quite rich." 

"Oh, yes, o' course they is : they started free, and ain't 
got nobody to work for but theirselves ; of course they 
gets rich. Some of 'em owns slaves — heaps of 'em. That 
ar ain't right." 

" Not right ! why not ?" 

" Why, you don' think it's right for one nigger to own 
another nigger ! One nigger's no business to sarve another. 
It's bad euough to have to sarve a white man without being 
paid for it, without having to sarve a black man." 

" Don't they treat their slaves well ?" 

" No, sar, they don't. There ain't no nations so bad 
masters to niggers as them free niggers, though there's some, 
I've heard, wos very kind ; but — I wouldn't sarve 'em if they 
wos — no ! — Does you live in Tennessee, mass'r ? 

" No— in New York." 



LOUISIANA. 37 

"There's heaps of Quakers in New York, ain't there, 
mass r r 

" No — not many." 

" I've always heard there was." 

" In Philadelphia there are a good many." 

"Oh, yes! in Philadelphia, and in Winchester, and in 
New Jarsey. I know — ho ! ho ! I've been in those coun- 
tries, and I've seen 'em. I wos raised nigh by Winchester, 
and I've been all about there. Used to iron waggons and 
shoe horses in that country. Dar's a road from Winchester 
to Philadelphia — right straight. Quakers all along. Eight 
good people, dem Quakers — ho ! ho ! — I know."* 

We slept in well-barred beds, and awoke long after sun- 
rise. As soon as we were stirring, black coffee was sent into 
us, and at breakfast we had cafe au lait in immense bowls 
in the style of the cr emeries of Paris. The woman remarked 
that our dog had slept in their bed- room. They had taken 
our saddle-bags and blankets with them for security, and 
Judy had insisted on following them. "Dishonest black 
people might come here and get into the room," explained 
the old man. "Yes; and some of our own people in the 
house might come to them. Such things have happened 
here, and you never can trust any of them," said the woman, 
her own black girl behind her chair. 

At Mr. Biguin's (Bacon's) we stopped on a Saturday 
night : and I was obliged to feed my own horse in the morn- 
ing, the negroes having all gone off before daylight. The 
proprietor was a Creole farmer, owning a number of labourers, 
and living in comfort. The house was of the ordinary 

* Evidently an allusion to the " underground railroad," or smuggling of run- 
away slaves, which is generally supposed to be managed mainly by Quakers. This 
shows how knowledge of the abolition agitation must be carried among the slaves 
lo the most remote districts. 



38 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

Southern double-cabined style, the people speaking English, 
intelligent, lively, and polite, giving us good entertainment at 
the usual price. At a rude corn-mill belonging to Mr. 
B 'guin, we had noticed among the negroes an Indian boy, in 
negro clothing, and about the house were two other Indians 
— an old man and a young man ; the first poorly clad, the 
other gaily dressed in a showy printed calico frock, and 
worked buckskin leggings, with beads and tinsel ornaments, a 
great turban of Scotch shawl-stuff on his head. It appeared 
they were Choctaws, of whom a good many lived in the 
neighbourhood. The two were hired for farm labour at three 
bits (37ij cents) a day. The old man had a field of his own. 
in which stood handsome corn. Some of them were indus- 
trious, but none were steady at work — often refusing to go 
on, or absenting themselves from freaks. I asked about the 
boy at the mill. He lived there and did work, getting no 
wages, but "living there with the niggers." They seldom 
consort ; our host knew but one case in which a negro had an 
Indian wife. 

At Lake Charles we had seen a troop of Alabamas, riding 
through the town with baskets and dressed deerskins for sale. 
They were decked with feathers, and dressed more showily 
than the Choctaws, but in calico : and over their heads, on 
horseback — curious progress of manners — all carried open, 
black cotton umbrellas. 

Our last night in this region was spent in a house which 
we reached at sundown of a Sunday afternoon. It proved to 
be a mere cottage, in a style which has grown to be common 
along our road. The walls are low, of timber and mud ; the 
roof, high, and sloping from a short ridge in all directions ; 
and the chimney of sticks and mud. The space is divided 
into one long living-room, having a kitchen at one end and a 



LOUISIAHA. 89 

bed-room at the other. As wo rode up, we found only a 
little boy, who answered us in French. His mother was 
milking, and his father out in the field. 

We rode on to the fence of the field, which enclosed twenty 
acres, planted in cotton, corn, and sweet potatoes, and waited 
until the proprietor reached us and the end of his furrow. 
He stopped before replying, to unhitch his horse, then gave 
consent to our staying in his house, and we followed his lead 
to the yard, where we unsaddled our horses. He was a tall, 
stalwart man in figure, with a large intellectual head, but as 
uninformed, we afterwards discovered, as any European pea- 
sant ; though he wore, as it were, an ill-fitting dress of rude in- 
dependence in manner, such as characterises the Western man. 

The field was well cultivated, and showed the best corn we 
had seen east of the Brazos. Three negro men and two 
women were at work, and continued hoeing until sunset. 
They were hired, it appeared, by the proprietor, at four bits 
(fifty cents) a day. He was in the habit of making use of 
the Sundays of the slaves of the neighbourhood in this way, 
paying them sometimes seventy-five cents a day. 

On entering the house, we were met by two young boys, 
gentle and winning in manner, coming up of their own accord 
to offer us their hands. They were immediately set to work 
by their father at grinding corn, in the steel-mill, for supper. 
The task seemed then usual one, yet very much too severe for 
their strength, as they were slightly built, and not over ten 
years old. Taking hold at opposite sides of the winch, they 
ground away, outside the door, for more than an hour, con- 
stantly stopping to take breath, and spurred on by the voice 
of the papa, if the delay were long. 

They spoke only French, though understanding questions 
in English. The man and his wife — an energetic but worn 
woman — spoke French or English indifferently, even to one 



40 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

another, changing, often, in a single sentence. He could not 
tell us which was his mother tongue ; he had always been as 
much accustomed to the one as to the other. He said he 
was not a Frenchman, hut a native, American-born ; but 
afterwards called himself a "Dutch- American," a phrase he 
was unable to explain. He informed us that there were many 
" Dutch-French " here, that is, people who were Dutch, but 
who spoke French. 

The room into which we were ushered, was actually with- 
out an article of furniture. The floor was of boards, while 
those of the other two rooms were of trodden clay. The ' 
mud-walls had no other relief than the mantel, on which 
stood a Connecticut clock, two small mirrors, three or four 
cheap cups and saucers, and a paste brooch in the forzn of a 
cross, pinned upon paper, as in a jeweller's shop. Chairs 
were brought in from the kitchen, having deer-hide seats, 
from which sprang forth an atrocious number of fresh fleas. 

We had two or three horns to wait for our late supper, and 
thus more than ample time to converse with our host, Avho 
proceeded to twist and light a shuck cigar. He made, he 
said, a little cotton, which he hauled ten miles to be ginned 
and baled. For this service he paid seventy-five cents a 
hundred weight, in which the cost of bagging was not in- 
cluded. The planter who baled it, also sold it for him, send- 
ing it, with his own, to a factor in New Orleans, by steamboat 
from Niggerville, just beyond Opelousas. Beside cotton, he 
sold every year some beef cattle. He had a good many cows, 
but didn't exactly know how many. Corn, too, he sometimes 
sold, but only to neighbours, who had not raised enough for 
themselves. It would not pay to haul it to any market. 
The same applied to sweet potatoes, which were considered 
worth seventy-five cents a barrel. 

The " range " was much poorer than formerly. . It was 



LOUISIANA. A 1 

crowded, and people would have to take their stock somewhere 
else in four or five years more, or they would starve. He 
didn't know what was going to become of poor folks, rich 
people were taking up the public land so fast, induced by the 
proposed railroad to New Orleans. 

More or less stock was always starved in winter. The 
worst time for them was when a black gnat, called the " eye- 
breaker," comes out. This insect breeds in the low wood- 
lands, and when a freshet occurs in winter is driven out in 
swarnis upon the prairies, attacking cattle terribly. They 
were worse than all manner of musquitoes, flies, or other in- 
sects. Cattle would herd together then, and wander wildly 
about, not looking for the best feed, and many would get 
killed. But this did not often happen. 

Horses and cattle had degenerated much within his recol- 
lection. No pains were taken to improve breeds. People, 
now-a-days, had got proud, and when they had a fine colt 
would break him for a carriage or riding-horse, leaving only 
the common scurvy sort to ran with the mares. This was 
confirmed by our observation, the horses about here being 
wretched in appearance, and the grass short and coarse. 

When we asked to wash before supper, a shallow cake-pan 
was brought and set upon the window-seat, and a mere rag 
offered us for towel. Upon the supper-table, we found two 
wash-bowls, one filled with milk, the other with molasses. 
We asked for water, which was given us in one battered tin 
cup. The dishes, besides the bacon and bread, were fried 
eggs and sweet potatoes. The bowl of molasses stood in the 
centre of the table, and we were pressed to partake of it, as 
the family did, by dipping in it bits of bread. But how it 
was expected to be used at breakfast, when we had bacon and 
potatoes, with spoons, but no bread, I cannot imagine, the 
family not breakfasting with us. 



42 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

The night was warm, and musquitoes swarmed, but we 
carried with us a portable tent-shaped bar, which we hung 
over the feather bed, upon the floor, and rested soundly amid 
their mad singing. 

The distance to Opelousas, our Frenchman told us, was 
fifteen miles by the road, though only ten miles in a direct 
line. We found it lined with farms, whose division-fences the 
road always followed, frequently changing its course in so 
doing at a right angle. The country was very wet and unat- 
tractive. About five miles from the town, begin plantations 
on an extensive scale, upon better soil, and here were large 
gangs of negroes at work upon cotton, with their hoes. 

At the outskirts of the town, we waded the last pool, and 
entered, with a good deal of satisfaction, the peaceful shaded 
streets. Reaching the hotel, we were not so instantly struck 
as perhaps we should have been, with the overwhelming ad- 
vantages of civilization, which sat in the form of a landlord, 
slapping with an agate-headed, pliable cane, his patent lea- 
ther boots, poised, at easy height, upon one of the columns of 
the gallery. "We were suffered to take off our saddle-bags, 
and to wait until waiting was no longer a pleasure, before 
civilization, wringing his cane against the floor, but not re- 
moving his cigar, brought his patent leathers to our vicinity. 

After some conversation, intended as animated upon one 
side and ineffably indifferent on the other, our horses obtained 
notice from that exquisitely vague eye, but a further introduc- 
tion was required before our persons became less than trans- 
l arent, for the boots walked away, and became again a sub- 
ject of contemplation upon the column, leaving us, with our 
i addle-bags, upon the steps. After inquiring, of a bystander 
if this glossy individual were the actual landlord, we attacked 
him in a tone likely to produce either a revolver-shot or a 
room, but whose effect was to obtain a removal of the cigar 



LOUISIAKA. 43 

and a gentle survey, ending in a call for a boy to show the 
gentlemen to number thirteen. 

After an hour's delay, we procured water, and were about 
to enjoy very necessary ablutions, when we observed that the 
door of our room was partly of uncurtained glass. A shirt 
was pinned to this, and ceremonies were about beginning, 
when a step came down the passage, and a gentleman put his 
hand through a broken pane, and lifted the obstruction, wishing 
" to see what was going on so damn'd secret in number thir- 
teen." When I walked toward him hurriedly, in puris 
naturalibus, he drew hastily and entered the next room. 

On the gallery of the hotel, after dinner, a fine-looking man 
— who was on the best of terms with every one — familiar with 
the judge — and who had been particularly polite to me, at the 
dinner-table, said to another : 

" I hear you were very unlucky with that girl you bought 
of me, last year ?" 

" Yes, I was; very unlucky. She died with her first child, 
and the child died, too." 

" Well, that was right hard for you. She was a fine girl. 
I don't reckon you lost less than five thousand dollars, when 
she died." 

" No, sir, not a dollar less." 

" Well, it came right hard upon you — just beginning so." 

" Yes, I was foolish, I suppose, to risk so much on the life 
of a single woman ; but I've got a good start again now, 
for all that. I've got two right likely girls ; one of them's* 
got a fine boy, four months old, and the other's with child — 
and old Pine Knot's as hearty as ever." 

" Is he ? Hasn't been sick at all, eh ?" 

" Yes ; he was sick very soon after I bought him of you ; 
but he got well soon." 

" That's right. I'd rather a nigger would be sick early, 



44 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

after he comes into this country ; for he's bound to be accli- 
mated, sooner or later, and the longer it's put off, the harder 
it goes with him." 

The man was a regular negro trader. He told me that he 
had a partner in Kentucky, and that they owned a farm 
there, and another one here. His partner bought negroes, as 
opportunity offered to get them advantageously, and kept them 
on their Kentucky farm ; and he went on occasionally, and 
brought the surplus to their Louisiana plantation— where he 
held them for sale. 

" So-and-so is very hard upon you," said another man, to 
him as he still sat, smoking his cigar, on the gallery, after 
dinner. 

" Why so ? He's no business to complain ; I told him just 
exactly what the nigger was, before I sold him (laughing, as 
if there was a concealed joke). It was all right — all right. 
I heard that he sold him again for a thousand dollars ; and 
the people that bought him, gave him two hundred dollars to 
let them off from the bargain. I'm sure he can't complain of 
me. It was a fan transaction. He knew just what he was 
buying." 

An intelligent man whom I met here, and who had been 
travelling most of the time during the last two years in 
Louisiana, having business with the planters, described the 
condition of the new slaveholders and the poorer planters as 
being very miserable. , 

* He had sometimes found it difficult to get food, even when 
he was in urgent need of it, at their houses. The lowest 
class live much from hand to mouth, and are often in 
extreme destitution. This was more particularly the case 
with those who lived on the rivers ; those who resided on the 
prairies were seldom so much reduced. The former now live 
only on those parts of the river to which the back-swamp ap- 



LOUISIANA. 45 

proaches nearest ; that is, where there is but little valuable 
land, that can be appropriated for plantation-purposes. They 
almost all reside in communities, very closely housed in poor 
cabins. If there is any considerable number of them, there is 
to be always found, among the cluster of their cabins, a 
church, and a billiard and a gambling-room — and the latter is 
always occupied, and play going on. 

They almost all appear excessively apathetic, sleepy, and 
stupid, if you see them at home ; and they are always longing 
and waiting for some excitement. They live for excitement, 
and will not labour, unless it is violently, for a short time, to 
gratify some passion. 

This was as much the case with the women as the men. 
The women were often handsome, stately, and graceful, and, 
ordinarily, exceedingly kind ; but languid, and incredibly 
indolent, unless there was a ball, or some other excitement, to 
engage them. Under excitement, they were splendidly ani- 
mated, impetuous, and eccentric. One moment they seemed 
possessed by a devil, and the next by an angel. 

The Creoles* are inveterate gamblers — rich and poor alike. 
The majority of wealthy Creoles, he said, do nothing to 
improve their estate ; and are very apt to live beyond their 
income. They borrow and play, and keep borrowing to play, 
as long as they can ; but they will not part with their land, 
and especially with their home, as long as they can help it, by 
any sacrifice. 

The men are generally dissolute. They have large families, 
and a great deal of family affection. He did not know that 
they had more than Anglo-Saxons ; but they certainly mani- 
fested a great deal more, and, he thought, had more domestic 

* Creole means simply native of the region, but in Louisiana (a vast region 
purchased, by the United States, of France, for strategetic reasons, and now pro- 
posed to be filibustered away from us), it generally indicates French blood. 



46 COTTON AND SLAVERY 

happiness. If a Creole farmer's child marries, he will build 
a house for the new couple, adjoining his own ; and when 
another marries, he builds another house — so, often his whole 
front on the river is at length occupied. Then he begins to 
build others, back of the first— and so, there gradually forms 
a little village, wherever there is a large Creole family, 
owning any considerable piece of land. The children are 
poorly educated, and are not brought up to industry, at all. 

The planters living near them, as their needs increase, lend 
them money, and get mortgages on their land, or, in some 
way or other, if it is of any value, force them them to part 
with it. Thus they are every year reduced, more and more, 
to the poorest lands ; and the majority now are able to get but 
a very poor living, and would not be able to live at all in a 
Northern climate. They are nevertheless — even the 'poorest 
of them — habitually gay and careless, as well as kind-hearted, 
hospitable, and dissolute — working little, and spending much 
of their time at church, or at balls, or the gaming-table. 

There are very many wealthy Creole planters, who are as 
cultivated and intelligent as the better class of American 
planters, and usually more refined. The Creoles, he said, did 
not work their slaves as hard as the Americans ; but, on the 
other hand, they did not feed or clothe them nearly as well, 
and he had noticed universally, on the Creole plantations, a 
large number of " used-up hands " — slaves, sore and crippled, 
or invalided for some cause. On all sugar plantations, he 
said, they work the negroes excessively, in the grinding 
season ; often cruelly. Under the usual system, to keep the 
fires burning, and the works constantly supplied, eighteen 
hours' work was required of every negro, in twenty-four — 
leaving but six for rest. The work of most of them, too, was 
very hard. They were generally, during the grinding season, 
liberally supplied with food and coffee, and were induced, as 



LOUISIANA. 47 

much as possible, to make a kind of frolic of it ; yet, on the 
Creole plantations, he thought they did not; even in the 
grinding season, often get meat. 

I remarked that the law, in Louisiana, required that meat 
should be regularly served to the negroes. 

" 0, those laws are very little regarded." 

" Indeed ?" 

" Certainly. Suppose you are my neighbour ; if you 
maltreat your negroes, and tell me of it, or I see it, am I 
going to prefer charges against you to the magistrates ? I 
might possibly get you punished according to law ; but if I 
did, or did not, I should have you, and your family and 
friends, far and near, for my mortal enemies. There is a law 
of the State that negroes shall not be worked on Sundays ; 
but I have seen negroes at work almost every Sunday, when I 
have been in the country, since I have lived in Louisiana.* I 
spent a Sunday once with a gentleman, who did not work 
his hands at all on Sunday, even in the grinding season ; and 
he had got some of his neighbours to help him build a 
school-house, which was used as a church, on Sunday. He 
said, there was riot a plantation on either side of him, as far 
as he could see, where the slaves were not generally worked 
on Sunday ; but that, after the church was started, several of 
them quit the practice, and made their negroes go to the 
meethig. This made others discontented ; and after a year or 
two, the planters voted new trustees to the school, and these 
forbid the house to be used for any other than school purposes. 
This was done, he had no doubt, for the purpose of breaking 
up the meeting's, and to lessen the discontent of the slaves 
which were worked on Sunday. 

* I also saw slaves at work every Sunday that I was in Louisiana. The law 
permits slaves to be worked, I believe, on Sunday ; but requires that some com- 
pensation shall be made to them when they are — such as a subsequent holiday. 



48 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

It was said that the custom of working the negroes on 
Sunday was much less common than formerly; if so, he 
thought that it must have formerly been universal. 

He had lived, when a boy, for several years on a farm in 
Western New York, and afterwards, for some time, at Koches- 
ter, and was well acquainted with the people generally, in 
the valley of the Genesee. 

I asked him if he thought, among the intelligent class of 
farmers and planters, people of equal property lived more 
happily in New York or Louisiana. He replied immediately, 
as if he had carefully considered the topic, that, with some 
rare exceptions, farmers worth forty thousand dollars lived 
in far greater comfort, and enjoyed more refined and elegant 
leisure, than planters worth three hundred thousand, and 
that farmers of the ordinary class, who laboured with their 
own hands, and were worth some six thousand dollars, in the 
Grenesee valley, lived in far greater comfort, and in all re- 
spects more enviably, than planters worth forty thousand dol- 
lars in Louisiana. The contrast was especially favourable to 
the New York farmer, in respect to books and newspapers. 
He might travel several days, and call on a hundred planters, 
and hardly see in their houses more than a single newspaper 
a-piece, in most cases ; perhaps none at all : nor any books, 
except a Bible, and some government publications, that had 
been franked to them through the post-office, and perhaps a 
few religious tracts or school-books. 

The most striking difference that he observed between 
the An 2;lo- Americans of Louisiana and New York, was the 
impulsive and unreflective habit of the former, in doing 
business. He mentioned, as illustrative of this, the almost 
universal passion among the planters for increasing their 
negro-stock. It apjoeared evident to him, that the market 
price of negroes was much higher than the prices of cotton 



LOUISIANA. 49 

and sugar warranted; but it seemed as if no planter ever 
made any calculation of that kind. The majority of planters, 
he thought, would always run in debt to the extent of their credit 
for negroes, whatever was asked for them, without making any 
calculation of the reasonable prospects of their being able to 
pay their debts. When any one made a good crop, he would 
always expect that his next one would be better, and make 
purchases in advance upon such expectation. When they were 
dunned, they would attribute their inability to pay, to acci- 
dental short crops, and always were gomg ahead risking 
everything, in confidence that another year of luck would favour 
them, and a big crop, make all right. 

If they had a full crop, probably there would be good crops 
everywhere else, and prices would fall, and then they would 
whine and complain, as if the merchants were to blame for 
it, and would insinuate that no one could be expected to pay 
his debts when prices were so low, and that it would be 
dangerous to press such an unjust claim. And, if the crops 
met with any misfortune, from floods, or rot, or vermin, they 
would cry about it like children when rain fell upon a holi- 
day, as if they had never thought of the possibility of such a 
thing, and were very hard used.* 

* The following resolutions were proposed (I am not sure that they were 
adopted) in the Southern Commercial Convention, at New Orleans, in 1855 : 

"Resolved, — That this Convention strongly recommends the Chambers of 
Commerce and Commission Merchants of our Southern and South-western cities 
to adopt such a system of laws and regulations as will put a stop to the dangerous 
practice, heretofore existing, of making advances to planters, in anticipation of 
their crops — a practice entirely at variance with everything like safety in business 
transactions, and tending directly to establish the relations of master and slave 
between the merchant and planter, by bringing the latter into the most abject and 
servile bondage. 

"Resolved, — That this Convention recommend, in the most urgent manner, 
that the planters of the Southern and South-western States patronize exclusive!) 
our home merchants, and that our Chambers of Commerce, and merchants gene- 
VOL. II. E 



50 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

He had talked with many sugar-planters who were strong 
Cuba war and annexation men, and had rarely found that any 
of these had given the first thought to the probable effect the 
annexation of Cuba would have on their home interests. It 
was mainly a romantic excitement and enthusiasm, inflamed 
by senseless appeals to then - patriotism and their combative- 
ness. They had got the idea, that patriotism was necessarily 
associated with hatred and contempt of any other country but 
their own, and the only foreigners to be regarded with favour 
were those who desired to surrender themselves to us. They 
did not reflect that the annexation of Cuba would necessarily 
be attended by the removal of the duty on sugar, and would 
bring them into competition with the sugar-planters of that 
island, where the advantages for growing cane were so much 
greater than in Louisiana. 

To some of the very wealthy renters who favoured the 
movement, and who were understood to have taken some of 
the Junta* stock, he gave credit for greater sagacity. He 
thought it was the purpose of these men, if Cuba could be 
annexed, to get possession of large estates there : then, with 
the advantages of their greater skill in sugar-making, and 
better machinery than that which yet was in use in Cuba, 
and with much cheaper land and labour, and a far better 
climate for cane growing than that of Louisiana, it would be 
easy for them to accumulate large fortunes in a few years ; 
but he thought the sugar-planters who remained in Louisiana 
would be ruined by it. 



rally, exert all their influence to exclude foreign agents from the purchase and sale 
of produce in any of our Southern and South-western cities. 

" Resolved, further, — That this Convention recommend to the legislatures of the 
Southern and .South-western States to pass laws, making it a penitentiary offence 
for the planters to ask of the merchants to make such pecuniary advances." 

* The Junta was a filibustering conspiracy against Cuba. 



LOUISIANA. 51 

The principal subscribers to the Junta stock at the South, 
he thought, were land speculators ; persons who expected that, 
by now favouring the movement, they would be able to obtain 
from the revolutionary government large grants of land in 
the island as gratuities in reward of their services or at nomi- 
nal prices, which after annexation would rise rapidly in value ; 
or persons who now owned wild land in the States, and who 
thought that if Cuba were annexed the African slave-trade 
would be re-established, either openly or clandestinely, with 
the States, and their lands be increased in value, by the 
greater cheapness with which they could then be stocked with 
labourers. 

I find these views confirmed in a published letter from a 
Louisiana planter, to one of the members of Congress, from 
that State ; and I insert an extract of that letter, as it is evi- 
dently from a sensible and far-thinking man, to show on 
how insecure a basis rests the prosperity of the slave-holding 
interest in Louisiana. The fact would seem to be, that, if it 
were not for the tariff on foreign sugars, sugar could not be 
joroduced at all by slave-labour ; and that a discontinuance of 
sugar culture would almost desolate the State. 

" The question now naturally comes up to you and to me, Do we 
Louisianians desire the possession of Cuba? It is not what the provision 
dealers of the West, or the shipowners of the North may wish for, but 
what the State of Louisiana, as a State, may deem consistent with her 
best interests. My own opinion on the subject is not a new one. It was 
long ago expressed to high officers of our Government, neither of whom 
ever hesitated to acknowledge that it was, in the main, correct. That 
opinion was and is, that the acquisition of Cuba would prove the ruin of our 
State. I found this opinion on the following reasons : Cuba has already 
land enough in cultivation to produce, when directed by American skill, 
energy, and capital, twenty millions of tons of sugar. In addition to this 
she has virgin soil, only needing roads to bring it, with a people of the 
least pretension to enterprise, into active working, sufficient nearly to 
double this ; all of which would be soon brought into productiveness were 
it our own, with the whole American market free to it. If any man sup- 
poses that the culture of sugar in our State can be sustained in the face of 

E 2 



52 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

this, I have only to say that lie can suppose anything. We have very 
nearly, if not quite, eighty millions invested in the sugar culture. My 
idea is that three-fourths of this ivould, so far as the State is concerned, be 
annihilated at a bloio. The planter who is in debt, would find his negroes 
and machinery sold and despatched to Cuba for him, and he who is inde- 
pendent would go there in self-defence. What will become of the other 
portion of the capital ? It consists of land, on which I maintain there can 
be produced no other crop but sugar, under present auspices, that will 
bear the contest with cocoa,* and the expense and risk of levees, as it 
regards the larger part of it, and the difficulty of transportation for the 
remainder. But supposing that it will be taken up by some other cultiva- 
tion, that in any case must be a work of time, and in this case a very long 
time for unacclimated men. It is not unreasonable, then, to suppose that 
this whole capital will, for purposes of taxation, be withdrawn from 
Louisiana. From whence, then, is to come the revenue for the support 
of our State government, for the payment of the interest on our debt, and 
the eventual redemption of the principal V Perhaps repudiation maybe 
recommended ; but you and I, my dear sir, are too old-fashioned to rob in 
that manner, or in any other. The only resort, then, is double taxation 
on the cotton planter, which will drive him, without much difficulty, to 
Texas, to Arkansas, and Mississippi." 



Washington. — The inn, here, when we arrived, was well 
filled with guests, and my friend and I were told that we 
must sleep together. In the room containing our hed there 
were three other beds ; and although the outside of the house 
was pierced with windows, nowhere more than four feet apart, 
not one of them opened out of our room. A door opened 
into the hall, another into the dining-room, and at the side of 
our bed was a window into the dining-room, through which, 
betimes in the morning, we could, with our heads on our 
pillows, see the girls setting the breakfast-tables. Both the 
doors were provided with glass windows, without curtains. 
Hither, about eleven o'clock, we "retired." Soon afterwards, 

* Cocoa is a grass much more pernicious, nnd more difficult of extirpation when 
it once gets a footing upon a sugar plantation, than the Canada thistle, or any 
other weed known at the. North. Several plantations have been ruined by it, and 
given up as worthless by their owners. 



WASHINGTON. 53 

hearing something moving under the bed, I asked, " Who's 
there ?" and was answered by a girl, who was burrowing for 
eggs ; part of the stores of the establishment being kept in 
boxes, hi this convenient locality. Later, I was awakened by 
a stranger attempting to enter my bed. I expostulated, and 
he replied that it was his bed, and nobody else had a right to 
his place in it. Who was I, he asked, angrily, and where 
was his partner? "Here I am," answered a voice from 
another bed ; and without another word, he left us. I slept 
but little, and woke feverish, and with a headache, caused by 
the want of ventilation. 

While at the dinner-table, a man asked, as one might at 
the North, if the steamer had arrived, if there had been " any 
fights to-day ?" After dinner, while we were sitting on the 
gallery, loud cursing, and threatening voices were heard in 
the direction of the bar-room, which, as at Nachitoches, was 
detached, and at a little distance from the hotel. The company, 
except myself and the other New-Yorker, immediately ran 
towards it. After ten minutes, one returned, and said — 

"I don't believe there'll be any fight; they are both 
cowards." 

" Are they preparing for a fight ?" 

" 0, yes ; they are loading pistols in the coffee-room, and 
there's a man outside, in the street, who has a revolver and a 
knife, and who is challenging another to come out. He 
swears he'll wait there till he does come out; but in my 
opinion he'll think better of it, when he finds that the other 
feller's got pistols, too." 

" What's the occasion of the quarrel ?" 

" Why, the man in the street says the other one insulted 
him this morning, and that he had his hand on his knife, at 
the very moment he did so, so he couldn't reply. And now 
he says he's ready to talk with him, and he wants to have 



54 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

him come out, and as many of his friends as are a mind to, 
may come with him ; he's got enough for all of 'em, he says. 
He's got two revolvers, I believe." 

We did not hear how it ended ; hut, about an hour after- 
wards, I saw three men, with pistols in their hands, coming 
from the bar-room. 

The next day, I saw, in the streets of the same town, two 
boys running from another, who was pursuing them with a 
large, open dirk-knife in his hand, and every appearance of 
ungovernable rage in his face. 

The boat, for which I was waiting, not arriving, I asked 
the landlady — who appeared to be a German Jewess — if I 
could not have a better sleeping-room. She showed me one, 
which she said I might use for a single night ; but, if I 
remained another, I must not refuse to give it up. It had 
been occupied by another gentleman, and she thought he 
might return the next day, and would want it again ; and, if 
I remained in it, he would be very angry that they had not 
reserved it for him, although they were under no obligation 
to him. "He is a dangerous man," she observed, "and my 
husband, he's a quick-tempered man, and, if they get to 
quarrelling about it, ther'll be knives about, sure. It always 
frightens me to see knives drawn." 

A Texas drover, who stayed over night at the hotel, being 
asked, as he was about to leave in the morning, if he was not 
going to have his horse shod, replied : 

"No sir ! it'll be a damn'd long spell 'fore I pay for having 
a horse shod. I recko'n, if God Almighty had thought it right 
bosses should have iron on thar feet, he'd a put it thar 
himself. I don't pretend to be a pious man myself; but I 
a'nt a-goin' to run agin the will of God Almighty, though 
thar's some, that calls themselves ministers of Christ, that 
does it." 



55 



CHAPTEE IT. 

A TRIP INTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI. 

Vicksburg, March 18th. — I arrived at this place last night, 
about sunset, and was told that there was no hotel in the 
town except on the wharf-boat, the only house used for that 
purpose having been closed a few days ago on account of 
a difference of opinion between its owner and his tenant. 

There are no wharves on the Mississippi, or any of the 
southern rivers. The wharf-boat is an old steamboat, with 
lier paddle boxes and machinery removed and otherwise dis- 
mantled, on which steamboats discharge passengers and 
freight. The main deck is used as a warehouse, and, hi place 
of the furnace, has in this case a dram shop, a chandler's 
shop, a forwarding agency, and a telegraph office. Overhead, 
the saloon and state-rooms remain, and with the bar-room and 
clerk's office, kitchen and barber's shop, constitute a stationary 
though floating hostelry. 

Though there were fifty or more rooms, and not a dozen 
guests, I was obliged, about twelve o'clock, to admit a 
stranger who had been gambling all the evening in the 
saloon, to occupy the spare shelf of my closet. If a disposition 
to enjoy occasional privacy, or to exercise a choice in one's 
room-mates were a sure symptom of a monomania for incen- 
diarism, it could not be more carefully thwarted than it is at 
all public-houses in this part of the world. 

Memphis, March 20th. — I reached this place to-day in 
forty-eight hours by steamboat from Vicksburg. 

Here, at the " Commercial Hotel," I am favoured with an 
unusually good-natured room-mate. He is smoking on the 
bed — our bed — now, and wants to know what my business is 



56 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

here, and whether I carry a pistol ahout me ; also whether I 
helieve that it isn't lucky to play cards on Sundays ; which I 
do most strenuously, especially as this is a rainy Sunday, and 
his second cigar is nearly smoked out. 

This is a first-class hotel, and has, of course, printed hills of 
fare, which, in a dearth of other literature, are not to be 
dropped at the first glance. A copy of to-day's is presented 
on the opposite page. 

Being in a distant quarter of the establishment when a 
crash of the gong announced dinner, I did not get to the 
table as early as some others. The meal was served in a 
large, dreary room exactly like a hospital ward ; and it is a 
striking illustration of the celerity with which everything is 
accomplished in our young country, that beginning with the 
soup, and going on by the fish to the roasts, the first five 
dishes I inquired for — when at last I succeeded in arresting 
one of the negro boys — were " all gone;" and as the waiter 
had to go to the head of the dining-room, or to the kitchen, 
to ascertain this fact upon each demand, the majority of the 
company had left the table before I was served at all. At 
length I said I would take anything that was still to be had, 
and thereupon was provided immediately with some grimy 
bacon, and greasy cabbage. This I commenced eating, but I 
no sooner paused for a moment, than it was suddenly and 
surreptitiously removed, and its place supplied, without the 
expression of any desire on my part, with some other Mem- 
phitic chef d'ceuvre, a close investigation of which left me in 
doubt whether it was that denominated " sliced potatoe pie," 
or " Irish pudding." 

I congratulate myself that I have lived to see the day 
in which an agitation for reform in our great hotel system 
lias been commenced, and I trust that a Society for the 
Eevival of Village Inns will ere long form one of the features 
of the May anniversaries. 



A TRIP INTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI. 



57 



COMMERCIAL HOTEL 

BY D. COCKEELL. 



BILL OF FARE. 



MARCH 20. 



SOUP. 

Oyster. 

FISH. 

Red. 

BOILED. 

Jole and Green. 
Ham* 

Corned beef. 
Bacon and turnips. 
Codfish egg sauce. 
Beef heart egg sauce. 
Leg of mutton caper sauce. 
Barbecued rabits. 
Boiled tongue. 

ROAST. 

Veal. 
Roast pig. 
Muscovie ducks. 
Kentucky beef. 
Mutton. 

Barbecued shoat. 
Roast bear meat. 
Roast pork. 

ENTREES. 

Fricosee pork. 

Calf feet mushroom sauce. 

Bear sausages. 

Harricane tripe. 

Stewed mutton. 

Browned rice. 

Calf feet madeira sauce. 

Stewed turkey wine sauce. 

Giblets volivon. 

Mutton omelett. 

Beef's heart fricaseed. 

Cheese macaroni. 

Chicken chops robert sauce. 

Breast chicken madeira sauce. 

Beef kidney pickle sauce. 

Cod fish baked. 

Calf head wine sauce. 



FRUIT. 



Almonds. 

Rasins. 

Pecans. 



VEGETABLES. 

Boiled cabbage. 

Turnips. 

Cold slaugh. 

Hot slaugh. 

Pickled beets. 

Creole hominy. 

Crout cabbage. 

Oyster plant fried. 

Parsneps gravied. 

Stewed parsneps. 

Fried cabbage. 

Sweet potatoes spiced. 

Carrot. 

Sweet potatoes baked. 

Cabbage stuffed. 

Onions, boiled. 

Irish potatoes creamed and mashed. 

Irish potatoes browned. 

Boiled shellots. 

Scolloped carrots. 

Boiled turnips drawn butter. 

White beans. 



PASTRY. 



Currant pies. 
Lemon custard. 
Rice pudding. 
Cocoanut pie. 
Cranberry pies. 
Sliced potato pie. 
Chess cake. 
Irish pudding. 
Orange custard. 
Cranberry shapes. 
Green peach tarts. 
Green peach puff paste. 
Grape tarts. 
Huckle berry pies. 
Pound cake. 
Rheubarb tarts. 
Plum tarts. 
Calves feet jelly. 
Blamonge. 
Orange jelly 



A stage-coach conveyed the railroad passengers from the 
hotel to the station, which was a mile or two out of town. 
As we were entering the coach the driver observed with a 



58 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

Mephistophelean smile that we " needn't calk'late we were 
gwine to ride very fur," and, as soon as we had got into the 
country he stopped a/id asked all the men to get out and 
walk, for, he condescended to explain, "it was as much as 
his hosses could do to draw the ladies and the baggage." It 
was quite true ; the horses were often obliged to stop, even 
with the diminished load, and as there was a contract between 
myself and the proprietors by which, for a stipulated siun of 
money by me to them in hand duly paid, they had under- 
taken to convey me over this ground, I thought it would have 
been no more than honest if they had looked out beforehand 
to have either a stronger team, or a better road, provided. 
As is the custom of our country, however, we allowed our- 
selves to be thus robbed with great good-nature, and waded 
along ankle-deep in the mud, joking with the driver and 
ready to put our shoulders to the wheels if it should be 
necessary. Two portmanteaus were jerked off in heavy 
lurches of the coach ; the owners picked them up and carried 
them on their shoulders till the horses stopped to breathe 
again. The train of course had waited for us, and it con- 
tinued to wait until another coach arrived, when it started 
twenty minutes behind time. 

After some forty miles of rail, nine of us were stowed away 
in another stage coach. The road was bad, the weather foul. 
We proceeded slowly, were often in imminent danger of being 
upset, and once were all obliged to get out and help the 
horses drag the coach out of a slough ; but with smoking, and 
the occasional circulation of a small black bottle, and a gene- 
ral disposition to be as comfortable as circumstances would 
allow, four hours of coaching proved less fatiguing than one 
of the ill-ventilated rail-cars. 

Among the passengers was a " Judge," resident in the 
vicinity, portly, dignified, and well-informed ; and a young 



A TRIP INTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI. 59 

man, who was a personal friend of the member of Congress 
from the district, and who, as he informed me, had, through 
the influence of this friend, a promise from the President of 
honourable and lucrative employment under Government. 
He was known to all the other passengers, and hailed by 
every one on the read-side, by the title of Colonel. The 
Judge was ready to converse about the country through 
which we were rassing, and while perfectly aware, as no one 
else seemed to be, that it bore anything but an appearance of 
prosperity or attractiveness to a stranger, he assured me that 
it was really improving in all respects quite rapidly. There 
were few large plantations, but many small planters or rather 
farmers, for cotton, though the principal source of cash in- 
come, was much less exclusively an object of attention than in 
the more southern parts of the State. A larger space was 
occupied by the maize and grain crops. There were not a 
few small fields of wheat. In the afternoon, when only the 
Colonel and myself were with him, the Judge talked about 
slavery in a candid and liberal spirit. At present prices, he 
said, nobody could afford to own slaves, unless he could 
engage them almost exclusively in cotton-growing. It was 
undoubtedly a great injury to a region like this, which was 
not altogether well adapted to cotton, to be in the midst of a 
slaveholding country, for it prevented efficient free labour. 
A good deal of cotton was nevertheless grown hereabouts by 
white labour — by poor men who planted an acre or two, and 
worked it themselves, getting the planters to gin and press it 
for them. It was not at all uncommon for men to begin in 
this way and soon purchase negroes on credit, and eventually 
become rich men. Most of the plantations in this vicinity, 
indeed, belonged to men who had come into ihe country with 
nothing within twenty years. Once a man got a good start 
with negroes, unless the luck was much against lam, nothing 



60 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

but his own folly could prevent his becoming rich. The 
increase of his negro property by births, if he took good care 
of it, must, in a few years, make him independent. The 
worst thhig, and the most difficult to remedy, was the deplor- 
able ignorance which prevailed. Latterly, however, people 
were taking more pride in the education of their children. 
Some excellent schools had been established, the teachers 
generally from the North, and a great many children were 
sent to board in the villages — county-seats— to attend them. 
This was especially true of girls, who liked to live in the villages 
rather than on the plantations. There was more difficulty in 
making boys attend school, until, at least, they were too old 
to get much good from it. 

The " Colonel " was a rough, merry, good-hearted, simple- 
minded man, and kept all the would-be sober-sides of our 
coach body in irrepressible laughter with queer observations 
on passing occurrences, anecdotes and connV, songs. It must 
be confessed that there is no charge which the enemies of the 
theatre bring against the stage, that was not duly illustrated, 
and that with a broadness which the taste of a metropolitan 

audience would scarcely permit. Had Doctor and 

Doctor been with me they would thereafter for ever 

have denied themselves, and discoimtenanced in others, the 
use of such a means of travel. The Colonel, notwithstand- 
ing, was of a most obliging disposition, and having ascertained 
in what direction I was going, enumerated at least a dozen 
families on the road, within some hundred miles, whom he 
invited me to visit, assuring me that I should find pretty 
girls in all of them, and a warm welcome, if I mentioned his 
name. 

He told the Judge that his bar- bill on the boat, coming up 
from New Orleans, was forty dollars — seventeen dollars the 
first night. But he had made money — had won forty dollars 



A TRIP INTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI. Gl 

of one gentleman. He confessed, however, that he had lost 
fifteen by another, "hut he saw how he did it. He did not 
want to accuse him publicly, but he saw it and he meant to 
write to him and tell him of it. He did not want to insult 
the gentleman, only he did not want to have him think that 
he was so green as not to know how he did it." 

While stopping for dinner at a village inn, a young man 
came into the room where we all were, and asked the coach- 
man what was to be paid for a trunk which had been brought 
for him. The coachman said the charge would be a dollar, 
which the young man thought excessive. The coachman 
denied that it was so, said that it was what he had often been 
paid ; he should not take less. The young man finally 
agreed to wait for the decision of the proprietor of the line. 
There was a woman in the room ; I noticed no loud words or 
angry tones, and had not supposed that there was the slight- 
est excitement. I observed, however, that there was a pro- 
found silence for a minute afterwards, which was interrupted 
by a jocose remark of the coachman about the delay of our 
dinner. Soon after we re-entered the coach, the Colonel 
referred to the trunk owner in a contemptuous manner. 
The Judge replied in a similar tone. "If I had been 
in the driver's place, I should have killed him sure,'' 
said the Colonel. With great surprise, I ventured to ask 
for what reason. "Did not you see the fellow put his 
hand to his breast when the driver denied that he had 
ever taken less than a dollar for bringing a trunk from 
Memphis ?" 

" No, I did not ; but what of it ?" 

" Why, he meant to frighten the driver, of course." 

" You think he had a knife in his breast ?" 

" Of course he had, sir." 

" But you wouldn't kill him for that, I suppose ?" 



62 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

" When a man threatens to kill me, you wouldn't have me 
wait for him to do it, would you, sir ?" 

The roads continued very heavy; some one remarked, 
" There's been a heap of rain lately," and rain still kept 
falling. Y^e passed a number of cotton waggons which had 
stopped in the road ; the cattle had been turned out and had 
strayed off into the woods, and the drivers lay under the tilts 
asleep on straw. 

The Colonel said this sight reminded him of his old camp- 
meeting days. " I used to be very fond of going to camp- 
meetings. I used to go first for fun, and, oh Lord ! haint 
I had some fun at camp meetings ? But after a while I got 
a conviction — needn't laugh, gentlemen. I tell you it was 
sober business for me. I'll never make fun of that. The 
truth just is, I am a melancholy case ; I thought I was a 
pious man once, I did — I'm damn'd if I didn't. Don't laugh 
at what I say, now ; I don't want fun made of that ; I give 
you my word I experienced religion, and I used to go to the 
meetings with as much sincerity and soberness as anybody 
could. That was the time I learned to sing — learned to pray 
too, I did ; could pray right smart. I did think I was a con- 
verted man, but of course I ain't, and I 'spose 'twarnt the 
right sort, and I don't reckon I shall have another chance. 
A gentleman has a right to make the most of this life, when 
he can't calculate on anything better than roasting in the 
next. Aint that so, Judge ? I reckon so. You mustn't 
think hard of me, if I do talk wicked some. Can't help it." 

I was forced by the stage arrangements to travel night and 
day. The Colonel told me that I should be able to get a good 
supper at a house where the coach was to stop about midnight 
— "good honest fried bacon, and hot Christian corn -bread — 
nothing like it, to fill a man up and make him feel righteous. 
You get a heap better living up in this country than you can 



A. TRIP INTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI. 63 

at the St. Charles, for all the fuss they make about it. It's 
lucky you'll have something better to travel on to-night than 
them French friterzeecl Dutch flabbergasted hell-fixins : for 

you'll have the " (another most extraordinary series of 

imprecations on the road over which I was to travel). 

Before dark all my companions left me, and in their place 
I had but one, a young gentleman with whom I soon became 
very intimately acquainted. He was seventeen years old, so 
he said ; he looked older ; and the son of a planter in the 
" Yazoo bottoms." The last year he had " follered overseein' " 
on his father's plantation, but he was bound for Tennessee, 
now, to go to an academy, where he could learn geography. 
There was a school near home at which he had studied read- 
ing and writing and ciphering, but he thought a gentleman 
ought to have some knowledge of geography. At ten o'clock 
the next morning the stage-coach having progressed at the 
rate of exactly two miles and a half an hour, for the previous 
sixteen hours, during which time we had been fasting, the 
supper-house, which we shoidd have reached before midnight, 
was still ten miles ahead, the driver sulky and refusing to stop 
until we reached it. We had been pounded till we ached in 
every muscle. I had had no sleep since I left Memphis. 
We were passing over a hill country which sometimes appeared 
to be quite thickly inhabited, yet mainly still covered with a 
pine forest, through which the wind moaned lugubriously. 

I had been induced to turn this way in my journey in no 
slight degree by reading the following description in a statis- 
tical article of De Bow's Eeview : 

" The settling of this region is one among the many remarkable events 
in the history of the rise of the Western States. Fifteen years ago it was 
an Indian wilderness, and now it has reached and passed in its population, 
other portions of the State of ten times its age, and this population, 
too, one of the finest in all the West. Great attention has been given to 
schools and education, and here, [at Memphis,] has been located the 



64 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

University of Mississippi ; so amply endowed by the State, and now just 
going into operation under the auspices of some of the ablest professors 
from the eastern colleges. There is no overgrown wealth among them, 
and yet no squalid poverty ; the people being generally comfortable, sub- 
stantial, and independent, farmers. Considering its climate, soil, wealth, 
and general character of its inhabitants, I should think no more desirable 
or delightful residence could be found than among the hills and sunny 
valleys of the Chickasaw Cession."* 

And here among the hills of this Paradise of the South- 
west, we were, Yazoo and I — he, savagely hungry, as may 
he guessed from his observations upon " the finest people of 
the West," among whose cabins in the pine- wood toiled our 
stage-coach. 

The whole art of driving was directed to the discovery of a 
passage for the coach among the trees and through the fields, 
where there were fields, adjoining the road — the road itself 
being impassable. Occasionally, when the coachman, during 
the night, found it necessary, owing to the thickness of the 
forest on each side, to take to the road, he would first leave the 
coach and make a survey with his lantern, sounding the ruts 
of the cotton-waggons, and finally making out a channel by 
guiding- stakes which he cut from the underwood with a 
hatchet, usually carried in the holster. If, after diligent 
sounding, he found no passage sufficiently shallow, he would 
sometimes spend half an hour in preparing one, bringing 
rails from the nearest fence, or cutting brushwood for the 
purpose. We were but once or twice during the night called 
upon to leave the coach, or to assist in road-making, and my 
companion frequently expressed his gratitude for this — grati- 
tude not to the driver but to Providence, who had made a 
country, as he thought, so unusually well adapted for stage- 
coaching. The night before, he had been on a much worse 
road, and was half the time, with numerous other passengers, 
engaged in bringing rails, and prying the coach out of sloughs. 

* See " Resources;" aiticle, '' Mississippi," etc. 



A TPvIP IKTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI. G5 

They had been obliged to keep on the track, because the water 
was up over the adjoining country. Where the wooden 
causeway had floated off, they had passed through water so 
deep that it entered the coach body. With our road of to-day, 
then, he coidd only express satisfaction ; not so with the resi- 
dents upon it. " Look at 'em !" he would say. " Just look at 
'em ! Yv 7 hat's the use of such people's living ? Tears to me 
I'd die if I couldn't live better 'n that. When I get to be 
representative, I'm going to have a law made that all such 
kind of men shall be took up by the State and sent to the 
penitentiary, to make 'em work and earn something to support 
their families. I pity the women ; I haint nuthin agin them ; 
they work hard enough, I know ; but the men — I know how 
'tis. They just hang around groceries and spend all the money 
they can get — just go round and live on other people, and 
play keerds, and only go home to nights ; and the poor 
women, they hev to live how they ken." 

"Do you think it's so ? It is strange we see no men — only 
women and children." 

" Tell you they're off, gettin' a dinner out o' somebody. 
Tell you I know it's so. It's the way all these people do. 
Why there's one poor man I know, that lives in a neighbour- 
hood of poor men, down our way, and he's right industrious, 
but he can't get rich and he never ken, cause all these other 
poor men live on him." 

" What do you mean ? Do they all drop in about dinner 
time ?" 

"No, not all on 'em, but some on 'em every day. And 
they keep borrowin' things of him. He haint spunk enough to 
insult 'em. If he'd just move into a rich neighbourhood and 
jest be a little sassy, and not keer so much about what folks 
said of him, he'd get rich ; never knew a man that was indus- 
trious and sassy in this country that didn't get rich, quick, 

VOL. II. F 



66 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

and get niggers to do his work for liirn. Anybody ken that's 
smart. Thar's whar they tried to raise some com. Warn't 
no corn grew thar ; that's sartin. Wonder what they live on ? 
See the stalks. They never made no corn. Plowed right 
down the hill ! Did you ever see anything like it ? As if 
this sile warn't poor enough already. There now. Just the 
same. Only look at 'em ! Tears like they never see a stage 
afore. This ain't the right road, the way they look at us. 
No, sartin, they never see a stage. Lord God ! see the 
babies. They never see a stage afore. No, the stage never 
went by here afore, I know. This damn'd driver's just taken 
us round this way to show off what he can do and pass away 
the time before breakfast. __ Couldn't get no breakfast here if 
he would stop — less we ate a baby. That's right ! step out 
where you ken see her good ; prehaps you'll never see a stage 
again ; better look now, right sharp. Yes, oh yes, sartin ; 
fetch out all the babies. Haint you got no more ? Well, I 
should hope not. Now, what is the use of so many babies ? 
That's the worst on't. I'd get married to-morrow if I wasn't 
sure I'd hev babies. I hate babies, can't bear 'em round me, 
and won't have 'em. I would like to be married. I know 
several gals I'd marry if 'twarn't for that . We , it's a fact. 
Just so. I hate the squallin' things. I know I was born a 
baby, but I couldn't help it, could I ? I wish I hadn't been. 
I hate the squallin' things. If I had to hev a baby round me 
I should kill it." 

" If you had a baby of your own, you'd feel differently 
about it." 

" That's what they tell me. I s'pose I should, but I don't 
want to feel differently. I hate 'em. I hate 'em." 

The coach stopped at length. We got out and found our- 
selves on the bank of an overflowed brook. A part of the 
bridge was "broken up, the driver declared it impossible to ford 



A TRIP INTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI. 67 

the stream, and said he should return to the shanty, four 
miles back, at which we had last changed horses. We per- 
suaded him to take one of his horses from the team and let 
us see if we could not get across. I succeeded in doing this 
without difficulty, and turning the horse loose he returned. 
The driver, however, was still afraid to try to ford the stream 
with the coach and mails, and after trying our best to per- 
suade him, I told him if he returned he should do it without 
me, hoping he would be shamed out of his pusillanimity. 
Yazoo joined me, but the driver having again recovered the 
horse upon which he had forded the stream, turned about and 
drove back. We pushed on, and after walking a few miles, 
came to a neat new house, with a cluster of old cabins about it. 
It was much the most comfortable establishment we had seen 
during the day. Truly a "sunny valley" home of northern 
Mississippi. We entered quietly, and were received by two 
women who were spinning in a room with three outside 
doors all open, though a fine fire was burning, merely to warm 
the room, in a large fire-place, within. Upon our asking if 
we could have breakfast prepared for us, one of the women 
went to the door and gave orders to a negro, and in a moment 
after, we saw six or seven black boys and girls chasing and 
clubbing a hen round the yard for our benefit. I regret to 
add that they did not succeed in making her tender. At 
twelve o'clock we breakfasted, and were then accommodated 
with a bed, upon which we slept together for several horns. 
When I awoke I walked out to look at the premises. . 

The house was half a dozen rods from the high road, with 
a square yard all about it, in one corner of which was a small 
enclosure fur stock, and a log stable and corn-crib. There 
were also three negro cabhis ; one before the house, and two 
behind it. The house was a neat building of logs, boarded 
over and painted on the outside. On the inside, the logs were 

f 2 



68 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

neatly liewn to a plane face, and exposed. One of the lower 
rooms contained a bed, and but little other furniture ; the 
other was the common family apartment, but also was furnished 
with a bed. A door opened into another smaller log house 
in the rear, in which were two rooms — one of them the 
family dining-room ; the other the kitchen. Behind this was 
still another log erection, fifteen feet square, which was the 
smoke-house, and in which a great store of bacon was kept. 
The negro cabins were small, dilapidated, and dingy ; the 
walls were not chinked, and there Yv T ere no windows — which, 
indeed, would have been a superfluous luxury, for there were 
spaces of several inches between the logs, through which there 
was unobstructed vision. The furniture in the cabins was of 
the simplest and rudest imaginable kind, two or three beds 
with dirty clothing upon them, a chest, a wooden stool or two 
made with an axe, and some earthenware and cooking appa- 
ratus. Everything within the cabins was coloured black by 
smoke. The chimneys of both the house and the cabins were 
built of splinters and clay, and en the outer side of the walls. 
At the door of each cabin were literally " heaps " of babies and 
puppies, and behind or beside it a pig-stye and poultry coop, 
a ley-tub, and quantities of home-carded cotton placed upon 
boards to bleach. Within each of them was a woman or two, 
spinning with the old-fashioned great wheel, and in the kitchen 
another woman was weaving coarse cotton shirting with the 
ancient rude hand-loom. The mistress herself was spinning 
in the living-room, and asked, when we had grown acquainted, 
what women at the North could find to do, and how they 
could ever pass the time, when they gave up spinning and 
weaving. She made the common every-day clothing for all 
her family and her servants. They only bought a few " store- 
goods " for then " dress-up " clothes. She kept the negro girls 
spinning all through the winter, and at all times when they 



A TRIP INTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI. 69 

were not needed in the field. She supposed they would 
begin to plant corn now in a few days, and then the girls 
would go to work out of doors. I noticed that all the 
bed-clothing, the towels, curtains, etc., in the house, were of 
homespun. 

The proprietor, who had been absent on a fishing excur- 
sion, during the day, returned at dusk. He was a man of 
the fat, slow-and-easy style, and proved to be good-natured, 
talkative, and communicative. He had bought the tract of 
land he now occupied, and moved upon it about ten years 
before. He had made a large clearing, and could now sell it 
for a good deal more than he gave for it. He intended to 
sell whenever he could get a good offer, and move on West. 
It was the beat land in this part of the country, and he had 
got it well fenced, and put up a nice house : there were a 
great many people that like to have these things done for 
them in advance —and he thought he should not have to wait 
long for a purchaser. He liked himself to be clearing land, 
and it was getting too close settled about here to suit him. 
He did not have much to do but to hunt and fish, and the 
game was getting so scarce it was too much trouble to go 
after it. He did not think there were so many cat in the 
creek as there used to be either, but there were more gar-fish. 
When he first bought this land he was not worth much — : had 
to run in debt — hadn't but three negroes. Now, he was 
pretty much out of debt and owned twenty negroes, seven of 
them prime field-hands, and he reckoned I had not seen 
a better lot anywhere. 

During the evening, all the cabins were illuminated by 
great fires, and, looking into one of them, I saw a very pic- 
turesque family group ; a man sat on the ground making a 
basket, a woman lounged on a chest in the chimney corner 
smoking a pipe, and a boy and two girls sat in a bed which 



70 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

had been drawn up opposite to her, completing the fireside 
circle. They were talking and laughing cheerfully. 

The next morning when I turned out I found Yazoo look- 
ing with the eye of a. connoisseur at the seven prime field- 
hands, who at half-past seven were just starting off with hoes 
and axes for their day's work. As I approached him, he 
exclaimed with enthusiasm : — 

" Aren't them a right keen lookin' lot of niggers ?" 

And our host soon after coming out, he immediately walked 
up to him, saying : — 

" Why, friend, them yer niggers o' yourn would be good 
for seventy bales of cotton, if you'd move down into our 
country." 

Their owner was perfectly aware of then value, and said 
everything good of them. 

" There's something ruther singlar, too, about my niggers ; 
I don't know as I ever see anything like it anywhere else." 

" How so, sir ?" 

" "Well, I reckon it's my way o' treatin' 'em, much as any- 
thing. I never hev no difficulty with 'em. Hen't licked a 
nigger in five year, 'cept maybe sprouting some of the young 
ones sometimes. Fact, my niggers never want no lookin' 
arter ; they jus tek ker o' themselves. Fact, they do tek a 
greater interest in the crops than I do myself. There's 
another thing — I 'spose 'twill surprise you — there ent one of 
my niggers but what can read; read good, too — better 'n I 
can, at any rafe." 

" How did they leam ?" 

" Taught themselves. I b'lieve there was one on 'em that 
I bought, that could read, and he taught all the rest. But 
niggers is mighty apt at larnin', a heap more 'n white folks 

IS. 

I said that this was contrary to the generally received opinion. 



A TRIP INTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI. 71 

" "Well, now, let me tell you," he continued ; " I had a hoy 
to work, when I was buildin', and my hoys jus teachin' him 
night times and such, he warn't here more'n three months, 
and he larned to read as well as any man I ever heerd, and I 
know he didn't know his letters when he come here. It didn't 
seem to me any white man could have dune that ; does it to 
you, now ? 

" How old was he ?" 

" "Warn't more'n seventeen, I reckon." 

" How do they get hooks — do you get them for them?" 

" Oh, no ; get 'em for themselves. " 

" How ?" 

" Buy 'em." 

" How do they get the money ?" 

"Earn it." 

" How ?" * 

"By their own work. I tell you my niggers have got 
more money 'n I hev." 

" What kind of hooks do they get ?" 

" Religious kind a books ginerally — these stories ; and 
some of them will buy novels, I believe. They won't let on 
to that, but I expect they do it." 

They bought them of peddlers. I inquired about the law 
to prevent negroes reading, and asked if it allowed books to 
be sold to negroes. He had never heard of any such law — 
didn't believe there was any. The Yazoo man said there was 
such a law in his country. Negroes never had anything to 
read there. I asked our host if his negroes were religious, as 
their choice of works would have indicated. 

" Yes ; all on 'em, I reckon. Don't s'pose you'll believe 
it, but I tell you it's a fact ; Thaint heerd a swear on this 
place for a twelvemonth. They keep the Lord's day, too, 
right tight, in mineral." 



72 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

" Our niggers is mighty wicked down in Yallerbush county," 
said my companion ; " they dance." 

" Dance on Sunday ?" I asked. 

" Oh, no, we don't allow that." 

" What do they do, then — go to meeting ?" 

"Why, Sundays they sleep mostly; they've been at work 
hard all the week, you know, and Sundays they stay in their 
cabins, and sleep and talk to each other. There's so 
many of 'em together, they don't want to go visiting off the 
place." 

" Are your negroes Baptists or Methodists ?" I inquired of 
our host. 

" All Baptists ; niggers allers want to be ducked, you 
know. They ain't content to be just titch'd with water ; they 
must be ducked in all over. There was two niggers jined 
the Methodists up here last summer, and they made the 
minister put 'em into the branch ; they wouldn't jine less 
he'd duck 'em." 

" The Bible says baptize, too," observed Yazoo. 

" Well, they think they must be ducked all under, or 
'tain't no good." 

" Do they go to meeting ?" 

" Yes, they hev a meeting among themselves." 

" And a preacher ?" 

" Yes ; a nigger preacher." 

" Our niggers is mighty wicked; they dance!" repeated 
Yazoo. 

" Do you consider dancing so very wicked, then ?" I asked. 

" Well, I don't account so myself, as I know on, but they 
do, you know — the pious people, all kinds, except the 'Pis- 
copers ; some o' them, they do dance themselves, I believe. 
Do you dance in your country ?" 

"Yes." 



A TRIP INTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI. 73 

" What sort of dances— cotillions and reels ?" 
" Yes ; what do you ?" 

" Well, we dance cotillions and reels too, and we dance on 
a plank ; that's the kind of dancin' I like best." 
" How is it done ?" 

" Why, don't you know that ? You stand face to face with 
your partner on a plank and keep a dancin'. Put the plank 
up on two barrel heads, so it'll kind o' spring. At some of 
our parties — that's among common kind o' people, you know 
— it's great fun. They dance as fast as they can, and the 
folks all stand round and holler, ' Keep it up, John !' ' Go 
it, Nance V ' Dorit give it up so /' ' Old Virginny never 
tire V ' Reel and toe, ketch a fire V and such kind of obser- 
vations, and clap and stamp 'cm." 
" Do your negroes dance much ?"' 

" Yes, they are mighty fond on't. Saturday night they 
dance all night, and Sunday nights too. Daytime they sleep 
and rest themselves, and Sunday nights we let 'em dance and 
sing if they want. It does 'em good, you know, to enjoy 
theirselves." 

" They dance to the banjo, I suppose ?" 
" Banjos and violins ; some of 'em has got violins." 
" I like to hear negroes sing," said I. 
" Niggers is allers good singers nat'rally," said our host. 
" I reckon they got better lungs than white folks, they hev 
such powerful voices." 

We were sitting at this time on the rail fence at the corner 
of a hog-pen and a large half-cleared field. In that part of 
this field nearest the house, among the old stumps, twenty or 
thirty small fruit trees had been planted. I asked what sorts 
they were. 

" I don't know — good kinds tho', I expect ; I bought 'em 
for that at any rate." 



74 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

" Where did you buy them ?" 

" I bought 'em of a feller that came a peddlin' round here 
last fall ; he said I'd find 'em good." 

" What did you pay for them ?" 

"A bit apiece." 

" That's very cheap, if they're good for anything ; you are 
sure they're grafted, am't you ?" 

" Only by what he said — he said they "was grafted kinds. 
Pve got a paper in the housen he gin me, tells about 'em ; 
leastways, he said it did. They's the curosest kinds of trees 
printed into it you ever heerd on. But I did not buy none, 
only the fruit kinds." 

Getting off the fence I began to pick about the roots of 
one of them with my pocket-knife. After exposing the trunk 
for five or six inches below the surface, I said, " You've 
planted these too deep, if they're all like "this. You should 
have the ground dished about it or it won't grow." I tried 
another, and after picking some minutes without finding any 
signs of the " collar," I asked if they had all been planted so 
deeply. 

" I don't know — I told the boys to put 'em in about two 
feet, and I expect they did, for they fancied to have apple- 
trees growin'." 

The catalogue of the tree-peddler, which afterwards came 
into my possession, quite justified the opinion my host ex- 
pressed of the kinds of trees described in it. The reader shall 
judge for himself, and I assure him that the following is a 
literal transcript of it, omitting the sections headed " Ancebus 
new," " Camelias," " Ehododendrums," " Bubbs Paeony," 
" Hosiers," "Wind's flowers of the greatest scarcity," "Bul- 
bous Eoots 3 and of various kinds of graines." 



A TRIP INTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI. 



75 



SPECIAL CATALOGUE 

OF THE PLANTS, FLOWERS, SHRUBS IMPORTED BY 

ROUSSET 

MEMBER OF SEVERAL SOCIETIES. 

At Paris (France), boulevard of Hopital, and at Chambery, faubourg de 

Mache. 



Mr Rousset beg to inform they are arrived in this town, with a large as- 
sortment of the most rare vegetable plants, either flowerd on fruit bearer, 
onion bulbous, seeds, &c., &c. Price very moderate. 
Their store is situated 



CHOIX D'ARBRES A FRUIT. 

Choice of Fruit Trees. 
Pear Trees. 

1 f!ood Louisa from Avranohe. 

2 Winter's Perfume. 

3 Saint-John-in-iron. 

4 Leon-the-Clerc. 

5 Bergamot from England. 

6 Duchess of Angouleme. 

7 Goulu-Morceau. 

8 Tarquin Pear. 

9 Summer's Good (large) Christian. 

10 Good Turkisk Christian. 

11 Grey (large) Beurre. 

12 Royal Beurre from England. 

1 Bon-Chretien d'ete, 

2 — d'hiver. 

3 — de Paque. 

4 Doyenne blanc. 

5 Puchesse d' Angora-New. 

6 Belle Angevine, fondante. 

7 Crassane d'hiver. 

8 Louise d'Orleans, sucre. 
» Double fleur hatif. 

10 Angelique de Tour. 

1 Borgamotte de Milan, Gros. 

2 — d'Aiencon, tres-gros. 

3 Beurre gris d'hiver. 

4 — Amanlis. 

5 — d'Hardenpont, precoce. 

6 Fortune, fondant. 

7 Josephine, chair fine. 

8 Martin-sec, sucre. 

9 Messire, gris. 

10 Muscat d'ete. 

11 Doyenne d'automne. 

12 — d'hiver, sucre. 

13 Virgouleuse fondonte. 

14 Bezy-Pamotte. 

15 Gros-Blauquet. 



APPLES. 

1 Renetto of Spain. 

2 — Green. 

3 Apple Coin. 

4 — Friette. 

5 Calville, white, winter's fruit. 

6 — red, autumn's fruit. 

7 — red, winter's fruit. 

8 Violet or of the Four-Taste. 

9 Renette from England, or Gold-Apple. 

1 Golded Rerrette, a yellow backward plant. 

11 White — of a great perfume. 

12 Renette, red, winter's lruit. 

1 Renette, yellow, heavy fruit. 

2 — gre}', very delicate. 

3 — Princess noble. 

4 Apple d'Api. 

5 - d'Eve. 

6 Winter's Postophe. 

7 Plein gney fenouillet. 

8 Renette franc. 

9 — of St. Laurent. 

10 Sammers Numbourg. 

11 Belle du Havre. ' - 

12 Belle Hollandaise. 

1 Violet Apple or of the 4 taste; the fruit 

may be preserved 2 years. 

2 Princess Renette, of a gold yellow, 

spotted with red of a delicious taste. 

3 White Renette from Canada', of which 

the skin is lite scales strange by its 
size. 

4 The Cythere Apple. 

5 The Caynoite Apple. 

6 Apple Trees with double flowers. Blooms 

twice a year, Camelia's flowers like. 
106 others kinds of Apples of the newest 
choice. 

Apricots. 

1 The Ladie's Apricots. 

2 The Peack Apricots. 

3 The Royal Apricots. 



76 



COTTON AND SLAVERY. 



4 The Gros Muscg Apricots. 

5 The Pourret Apricots. 

6 Portugal Apricots. 

7 Apricats roonstruous from America, of 

a gold yellow, of an enormous size, 
and of the pine's apple taste. 

Peach Trees. 

1 Peach Grosse Mignonne. 

2 — Bello Beauty. 

3 — Godess. 

4 — Beauty of Paris. 

4 — From Naples ! said without stone, 

6 Brugnon, muse taste. 

7 Admirable ; Belle of Vitry. 

8 The Large Royal. 

9 Monstruous 1'avie. 

10 The Cardinal, very forward. 

11 Good Workman. 

12 Letitia Bonaparte. 

13 The Prince's Peach, melting in the mouth. 

14 The Prince's Peach from Africa, with 

large white fruit, weighing pound and 
half each ; hearly, new kind. 
fiO others new kinds of Peach Trees. 



Plum Trees. 

1 rium Lamorte. 

2 Surpasse Monsieur. 

3 Damas wiih muse taste. 

4 Royale of Tonrs. 

5 Green Gage, of a violet colour. 

6 L;irge Mirabelle. 

7 Green gage, golded. 

8 Imperial, of a violet colour. 

9 Empress, of a white colour. 

10 Ste-Catherine, zellow, suger taste like. 

Cherry Trees. 

1 Cherry from the North. 

2 — Royal, gives from 18 to 20 cherries 

weihing one pound, 4 differentes 
ki nds. 
:! Cherry Reina Hortense. 

4 — Montmorency. 

5 — with thort stalk (Gros-Gobet), 

6 — Le Mercier. 

7 — Four for a pound. 

8 Cherry Beauty of Choicy. 

9 — The English. 

10 Cherry- Duck. 

11 — Creole with bunches. 

12 — Bigarrot or monster of new 

Mezel. 



Currant Trees. 

1 Currant Three with red bunches (grapes). 

2 — — with white bunches. 

3 Gooseberries of 1st choice (Raspberries) 

six kiuds of alegery. 

4 New kind of currants, of which the grapes 

are as big as the wine grapes. 



Grapes Wines. 

1 Chasselas of Fontainebleau, with large 

gold grains. 

2 Chasselas, black very good. 

3 — red, of muse teste. 

4 Verdal, the sweetest and finest fruit for 

desert. 

5 White Muscadine grape, or of Fronti- 

gnau. 

6 Muscat of Alexandrie, muse taste. 

7 Cornichon, white, sweet sugar like, very 

good. 

8 Tokay, red and white. 

9 Verjus from Bordeaux, large yellow fruit. 

10 St- Peter large and fine fruit. 

11 Red Muscadine Graper. 

12 Raisin of Malaga. 

13 The Celestial Wine Mree, or the am- 

phibious grain, weighing two ounces, 
the grain of a red and violet colour. 

New Strawberry Plants. 

1 The Strawberry Cremont. 

2 — — the yueen. 

3 — — monster, new kind. 

4 — — from Cllili. 

5 Caperon of a raspberry taste. 

6 Scarlat from Venose, very forward plant. 

7 Prince Albert, fruit of very greatz 

beauty. 

8 Grinston colalant, very large. 

9 Rose-Berry, big fruit and of a long form. 

10 Bath chery, very good. 

11 The Big Chinese Strawberry, weihing 

16 to a pound, produce fruit all year 
round, of the pine apple's taste. 

12 Vilmoth full. 

New Fig Trees of a Monstruous Size. 

1 Diodena white, of a large size. 

2 Duchess of Maroc, green fruit. 

3 Donne-a-Dieu, blue fruit. 

4 La Sanspareille, yellow fruit. 

The Perpetual Kapsberry Tree, imported 
from Indies producing a fruit large as an 
egg, taste delicious 3 kinds, red, violet and 
white. 



The Bapsberry Tree from Fastolff, red fruit, 
very good of an extraordinary size, very 
hearly forward plant. 

Cherry Currant Tree, with large bunches, 
it has a great production. Its numerous 
and long bunches cover entirely the old 
wood and looks like grapes; the fruit of 
a cherry pink colour is very large and of 
the best quality. 

Asparagus from Africa, new kinds, good 
to eat the same year of their planting 
(seeds of two years). 1000 varieties of 
annual and perpetual flower's grains also 
of kitchen garden grains. 



A TRIP INTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI. 77 

PAULNOVIA INPERIALIS. Magnificent hardy plant from 12 to 15 yards of higth : its 
leave come to the size of 75 to 80 centimeter and its fine and larg flowers of a fine blue, 
gives when the spring conies, a soft and agreable perfume. 
Besides these plants the amateur will fine at M. Rolsset, stores, a great number of other 

1'lants and Fruit Trees of which xcould be to long to describe. 

NOTICE. 

The admirable and strange plant called Trompette du Jugement (The Judgment Trompette) 
of that name having not yet found its classification. 

This marvellous plant was send to us from China by the cleuer and courageous botanist 
collector M. Fortune, from l'Himalaya, near summet ot the Chamalari Macon. 

This splendid plant deserves the first rank among ali kinds of plant wich the botanical 
science has produce till now in spite of all the new discoveries. 

This bullions plant gives several stems on the same subject. It grows to the height of 6 
feet. It is furnished with flowers from bottom to top. The bud looks by his from like a 
big cannon ball of a heavenly blue. The center is of an aurora yellewish colour. The vege- 
tation of that plant is to louitfull that when it is near to blossom it gives a great heat when 
tassing it. in hand and when the bud opens it produces a naite Similar to a pistole shot. Im- 
mediately the vegetation takes fire and burns like alcohol about an hour and a half. The 
flowers succeeding one to the other gives the satisfaction of having flowers during 7 or 8 
months. 

The most intense cold can not hurt this plant and can be culvivated in pots, in appartments 
or gpeen houses. 

Wa call the public attention to this plant as a great curiosity. 

Havre — Printed by F. HUK, rue de Paris, 89. 



" But come," said the farmer, "go in ; take a drink. 
Breakfast'U be ready right smart." 

" I don't want to drink before breakfast, thank you." 

" Why not ?" 

" I'm not accustomed to it, and I don't find it's wholesome. " 

Not wholesome to drink before breakfast ! That was " a 
new kink " to our jolly host, and troubled him as much as a 
new "ism " would an old fogy. Not wholesome ? He had 
always reckoned it warn't very wholesome not to drink before 
breakfast. He did not expect I had seen a great many 
healthier men than he was, had I ? and he always took a 
drink before breakfast. If a man just kept himself well strung 
up, without ever stretching himself right tight, he didn't 
reckon damps or heat would ever do him much harm. He 
had never had a sick day since he came to this place, and he 
reckoned that this was owin' considerable to the good rye 
whisky he took. It was a healthy trac' of land, though, he 
believed, a mighty healthy trac' ; everything seemed to thrive 
here. We must see a nigger-gal that he was raisin'; she 



78 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

was just coming fire, and would pull up nigh upon a hundred 
weight. 

" Two year ago," he continued, after taking his dram, as 
we sat by the fire in the north room, " when I had a carpen- 
ter here to finish off this house, I told one of my boys he must 
come in and help him. I reckoned he would larn quick, if he 
was a mind to. So he come in, and a week arter wards he 
fitted the plank and laid this floor, and now you just look at it ; 
I don't believe any man could do it better. That was two 
year ago, and now he's as good a carpenter as you ever see. I 
bought him some tools after the carpenter left, and he can do 
anything with 'em— make a table or a chest of drawers or any- 
thing. I think niggers is somehow nat'rally ingenious ; more 
so 'n white folks. They is wonderful apt to any kind of slight." 

I took out my pocket-map, and while studying it, asked 
Yazoo some questions about the route East. Not having yet 
studied geography, as he observed, he could not answer. Our 
host inquired where I was going, that way. I said I should 
go on to Carolina. 

" Expect you're going to buy a rice-farm, in the Carolinies, 
aint you ? and I reckon you're up here speckylating arter nig- 
ger stock, aint you now ?" 

" "Well," said I, " I would n't mind getting that fat girl of 
yours, if we can made a trade. How much a pound will you 
sell her at ?" 

" We don't sell niggers by the pound in this country." 

" Well, how much by the lump ?" 

" Well, I don't know ; reckon I don't keer about sellin' her 
just yet." 

After breakfast, I inquired about the management of the 
farm. He said that he purchased negroes, as he was able, 
from time to time. He grew rich by the improved saleable 
value of his land, arising in part from then labour, and from 
their natural increase and improvement, for he bought only 



A. TRIP INTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI. 79 

such as would be likely to increase in value on his hands. He 
had been obliged to spend but little money, being able to live 
and provide most of the food and clothing for his family and 
his people, by the production of his farm. He made a little 
cotton, which he had to send some distance to be ginned and 
baled, and then waggoned it seventy miles to a market ; also 
raised some wheat, which he turned into flour at a neighbour- 
ing mill, and sent to the same market. This transfer engaged 
much of the winter labour of his man-slaves. 

I said that I supposed the Memphis and Charleston railroad, 
as it progressed east, would shorten the distance to which it 
would be necessary to draw his cotton, and so be of much ser- 
vice to him. He did not know that. He did not know as he 
should ever use it. He expected they would charge- pretty 
high for carrying cotton, and his niggers hadn't any thing else 
to do. It did not really cost him anything now to send it to 
Memphis, because he had to board the niggers and the cattle 
anyhow, and they did not want much more on the road than 
they did at home. 

He made a large crop of corn, which, however, was mainly 
consumed by his own force, and he killed annually about one 
hundred and fifty hogs, the bacon of which was all consumed 
in his own family and by his people, or sold to passing travel- 
lers. In the fall, a great many drovers and slave-dealers 
passed over the road with their stock, and they frequently 
camped against this house, so as to buy corn and bacon of him. 
This they cooked themselves. 

There were sometimes two hundred negroes brought along 
together, going South. He didn't always have bacon to spare 
for them, though he killed one hundred and fifty swine. They 
were generally bad characters, and had been sold for fau t by 
their owners. S^me of the slave-dealers were high-minded, 
honourable men, he thought; "high-toned gentlemen, as ever 
he saw, some of 'em, was." 



80 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

Niggers were great eaters, and wanted more meat than 
white folks ; and he always gave his as much as they wanted, 
and more too. The negro cook always got dinner for them, 
and took what she liked for it ; his wife didn't know much 
about it. She got as much as she liked, and he guessed she 
didn't spare it. When the field-hands were anywhere within- 
a reasonable distance, they always came up to the house to get 
their dinner. If they were going to work a great way off, 
they would carry their dinner with them. They did as they 
liked about it. When they hadn't taken their dinner, the cook 
called them at twelve o'clock with a conch. They ate in the 
kitchen, and he had the same dinner that they did, right out 
of the same frying-pan ; it was all the same, only they ete in 
the kitchen, and he ate in the room we were in, with the door 
open between them. 

I brought up the subject of the cost of labour, North and 
South. He had no apprehension that there would ever be any 
want of labourers at the South, and could not understand that 
the ruling price indicated the state of the demand for them. 
He thought negroes would increase more rapidly than the 
need for then labour. " Niggers," said he, " breed faster than 
white folks, a 'mazin' sight, you know ; they begin younger." 

" How young do they begin ?" 

" Sometimes at fourteen, sometimes at sixteen, and some- 
times at eighteen." 

" Do you let them marry so young as that ?" I inquired. 
He laughed, and said, " They don't very often wait to be 
married." 

" When they marry, do they have a minister to marry 
them ?" 

" Yes, generally one of their own preachers." 

" Do they with you ?" I inquired of Yazoo. 

" Yes, sometimes they hev a whif e minister, and sometimes 
a black one, and if there arn't neither handy, they ge J « some of 



A TRIP INTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI. 81 

the pious ones to marry 'em. But then very often they only 
just come and ask our consent, and then go ahead, without any 
more ceremony. They just call themselves married. But 
most niggers likes a ceremony, you know, and they generally 
make out to hev one somehow. They don't very often get 
married for good, though, without trying each other, as they 
say, for two or three weeks, to see how they are going to like 
each other." 

I afterwards asked how far it was to the post-office. It was 
six miles. "One of my boys," said our host, "always gets 
the paper every week. He goes to visit his wife, and passes 
by the post-office every Sunday. Our paper hain't come, 
though, now, for three weeks. The mail don't come very re- 
gular." All of his negroes, who had wives off the place, left 
an hour before sunset on Saturday evening. One of them, 
who had a wife twenty miles away, left at twelve o'clock Satur- 
day, and got back at twelve o'clock Monday. 

" We had a nigger once," said Yazoo, " that had a wife fif- 
teen miles away, and he used to do so ; but he did some ras- 
cality once, and he was afraid to go again. He told us his 
wife was so far off, 't was too much trouble to go there, and he 
believed he'd give her up. We was glad of it. He was a 
darned rascally nigger — allers getting into scrapes. One time 
we sent him to mill, and he went round into town and sold 
some of the meal. The storekeeper wouldn't pay him for't, 
'cause he hadn't got an order. The next time we were -in town, 
the storekeeper just showed us the bag of meal ; said he reck- 
oned 't was stole ; so when we got home we just tied him up 
to the tree and licked him. He's a right smart nigger ; ras- 
cally niggers allers is smart. I'd rather have a rascally nigger 
than any other — they's so smart allers. He is about the best 
nigger we've got." 

"I have heard," said I, "that religious negroes were gene- 

VOL. II. G 



82 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

rally the most valuable. I have been told that a third more 
would be given for a man if* he were religious." " Well, I 
never heerd of it before," said he. Our host thought there 
was no difference in the market value of sinners and saints. 

"Only," observed Yazoo, "the rascalier a nigger is, the 
better he'll work. Now that yer nigger I was tellin' you on, 
he's worth more'n any other nigger we've got. He's a yaller 
nigger." 

I asked then opinion as to the comparative value of black 
and yellow negroes. Our host had two bright mulatto boys 
among his — didn't think there was much difference, "but 
allers reckoned yellow fellows was the best a little ; they 
worked smarter. He would rather have them." Yazoo 
would not; he "didn't think but what they'd work as well; 
but he didn't fancy yellow negroes 'round him ; would rather 
have real black ones." 

I asked our host if he had no foreman or driver for his ne- 
groes, or if he gave his directions to one of them in particular 
for all the rest. He did not. They all did just as they 
pleased, and arranged the work among themselves. They 
never needed driving. 

" If I ever notice one of 'em getting a little slack, I just 
calk to him ; tell him we must get out of the grass, and I 
want to hev him stir himself a little more, and then, maybe, 
I slip a dollar into his hand, and when he gits into the field 
he'll go ahead, and the rest seeing him, won't let themselves 
be distanced by him. My niggers never want no lookin' 
arter. They tek more interest in the crop than I do myself, 
every one of 'em." 

Eeligious, instructed, and seeking further enlightenment ; 
industrious, energetic, and self directing ; well fed, respected, 
and trusted by their master, and this master an illiterate, in- 
dolent, and careless man ! A very different state of things, 



A TRTP INTO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI. 83 

this, from what I saw on a certain great cotton planter's 
estate, where a profit of g 100,000 was made in a single year, 
but where five hundred negroes were constantly kept under 
the whip, where religion was only a pow-wow or cloak for 
immorality, and where the negro was considered to be of an 
inferior race, especially designed by Providence to be kept in 
the position he there occupied ! A very different thing ; and 
strongly suggesting what a very different thing this negro 
servitude might be made in general, were the ruling disposi- 
tion of the South more just and sensible. 

About half-past eleven, a stage coach, which had come earlier 
in the morning from the East, and had gone on as far as the 
brook, returned, having had our luggage transferred to it from 
the one we had left on the other side. In the transfer a portion 
of mine was omitted and never recovered . Up to this time our 
host had not paid the smallest attention to any work his men 
were doing, or even looked to see if they had fed the cattle, but 
had lounged about, sitting upon a fence, chewing tobacco, and 
talking with us, evidently very glad to have somebody to con- 
verse with. He went in once again, after a drink ; showed us 
the bacon he had in his smoke-house, and told a good many 
stories of his experience in life, about a white man's "dying 
hard " in the neighbourhood, and of a tree falling on a team 
with which one of his negroes was ploughing cotton, " which 
was lucky " — that is, that it did not kill the negro — and a 
good deal about " hunting " when he was younger and 
lighter. 

Still absurdly influenced by an old idea which I had 
brought to the South with me, I waited, after the coach came 
in sight, for Yazoo to put the question, which he presently 
did, boldly enough. 

" Well ; reckon we're goin' now. What's the damage ?" 

" Well ; reckon seventy-five cents '11 lie right." 

a 2 



84 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 



CHAPTEE III. 

THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS — CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI, 
ALABAMA, ETC. 

Central Mississippi, May 31st. — Yesterday was a raw, cold 
day, wind north-east, like a dry north-east storm at home. 
Fortunately I came to the pleasantest house and household I 
had seen for some time. The proprietor was a native of 
Maryland, and had travelled in the North ; a devout Metho- 
dist, and somewhat educated. He first came South, as I un- 
derstood, for the benefit of his health, his lungs being weak. 

His first dwelling, a rude log cabin, was still standing, and 
was occupied by some of his slaves. The new house, a cottage, 
consisting of four rooms and a hall, stood in a small grove of 
oaks ; the family were quiet, kind, and sensible. 

When I arrived, the oldest boy was at work, holding a 
plough in the cotton-field, but he left it and came at once, with 
confident and affable courtesy, to entertain me. 

My host had been in Texas, and after exploring it quite 
thoroughly, concluded that he much preferred to remain where 
he was. He found no part of that country where good land, 
timber, and a healthy climate were combined : in the West he 
did not like the vicinage of the Germans and Mexicans ; more- 
over, he didn't " fancy " a prairie county. Here, in favourable 
years, he got a bale of cotton to the acre. Not so much now 
as formerly. Still, he said, the soil would be good enough 
for him here, for many years to come. 

I went five times to the stable without being able to find 
a servant there. I was always told that " the boy " would 
feed my horso, and take good care of him, w r hen he came ; 



THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS. 85 

and so at length I had to go to bed, trusting to this assurance. 
I went out just before breakfast next morning, and found the 
horse with only ten drij cobs in the manger. I searched for 
the boy ; could not find him, but was told that my horse had 
been fed. I said, " I wish to have him fed more — as much 
as he will eat." Very well, the boy should give him more. 
When I went out after breakfast the boy was leading out the 
horse. I asked if he had given him corn this morning. 

" Oh yes, sir." 

" How many ears did you give him ?" 

" Ten or fifteen — or sixteen, sir ; he eats very hearty." 

I went into the stable and saw that he had not been fed ; 
there were the same ten cobs (dry) in the manger. I doubted, 
indeed, from their appearance, if the boy had fed him at all 
the night before. I fed him with leaves myself, but could not 
get into the corn crib. The proprietor was, I do not doubt, 
perfectly honest, but the negro had probably stolen the corn 
for his own hogs and fowls. 

The next day I rode more than thirty miles, having secured 
a good feed of corn for the horse at midday. At nightfall I 
was much fatigued, but had as yet failed to get lodging. It 
began to rain, and grew dark, and I kept the road with diffi- 
culty. About nine o'clock I came to a large, comfortable 
house. 

An old lady sat in the verandah, of whom I asked if I could 
be accommodated for the night : " Reckon so," she replied : 
then after a few moments' reflection, without rising from her 
chair she shouted, " Gal !— gal !" Presently a girl came. 

" Missis ?" 

" Gall Tom !" 

The girl went off, while I remained, waiting for a more 
definite answer. At length she returned : " Tom ain't there, 
missis." 



86 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

" TOo is there ?" 

" Old Pete." 

" Well, tell him to come and take this gentleman's horse." 

Pete came, and I went with him to the gate where I had 
fastened my horse. Here he called for some younger slave to 
come and take him down to " the pen," while he took off the 
saddle. 

All this time it was raining, but any rapidity of movement 
was out of the question. Pete continued shouting. "Why 
not lead the horse to the pen yourself?" I asked. "I must 
take care of de saddle and tings, massa ; tote 'em to de house 
whar dey'll be safe. Dese niggers is so treacherous, can't 
leave nothin' roun' but dey'll hook suthing off of it." 

Next morning, at dawn of day, I saw honest .Pete come 
into the room where I was in bed and go stealthily to his 
young master's clothes, probably mistaking them for mine. 
I moved and he dropped them, and slunk out to the next room, 
where he went loudly to making a fire. I managed to see the 
horse well fed night and morning. 

There were three pretty young women in this house, of 
good manners and well dressed, except for the abundance of 
rings and jewelry which they displayed at breakfast. One of 
them surprised me not a little at the table. I had been 
offered, in succession, fried ham and eggs, sweet potatoes, 
apple-pie, corn-bread, and molasses ; this last article I de- 
clined, and passed it to the young lady opposite, looking to 
see how it was to be used. She had, on a breakfast plate, 
fried ham and eggs and apple-pie, and poured molasses 
between them. 

June 1st. — I stopped last evening at the house of a man 
who was called " Doctor " by his family, but who was, to judge 
from his language, very illiterate. His son, by whom I was 



THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS. 87 

first received, followed me to the stable. He had ordered a 
negro child to lead my horse, but as I saw the little fellow 
could n't hold him I went myself. He had no fodder (corn- 
leaves), and proposed to give the horse some shucks (corn- 
husks) dipped in salt water, and, as it was now too late to go 
further, I assented. Belshazzar licked them greedily, but 
would not eat them, and they seemed to destroy his appetite 
for corn, for late in the evening, having groped my way into 
the stable, I found seven small ears of corn, almost untasted, 
in the manger. I got the young man to come out and give 
him more. 

The " Doctor " returned from " a hunt," as he said, with no 
?ame but a turtle, which he had taken from a " trot line " — 
a line, with hooks at intervals, stretched across the river. 

The house was large, and in a good-sized parlour or com- 
mon room stood a handsome centre table, on which were a 
few books and papers, mostly Baptist publications. I sat 
here alone in the evening, straining my eyes to read a 
wretchedly printed newspaper, till I was offered a bed. I 
was very tired and sleepy, having been ill two nights before. 
The bed was apparently clean, and I gladly embraced it. 

My host, holding a candle for me to undress by (there 
was no candlestick in the house), called to a boy on the 
outside to fasten the doors, which he did by setting articles 
of furniture against them. When I had got into bed he went 
himself into an inner room, the door of which he closed and 
fastened in the same manner. No sooner was the light with- 
drawn than I was attacked by bugs. I was determined, if 
possible, not to be kept awake by them, but they soon con- 
quered me. I never suffered such incessant and merciless 
persecution from them before. In half an hour I was nearly 
frantic, and leaped from bed. But what to do ? There was 
no use in making a disturbance about it ; doubtless every 



88 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

other bed and resting place in the house was full of them. 1 
shook out my day clothes carefully and put them on, and 
then pushing away the barricade, opened the door and went 
into the parlour. At first I thought that I would arrange 
the chairs in a row and sleep on them ; but this I found 
impracticable, for the seats of the chairs were too narrow, and 
moreover of deerskin, which was sure to be full of fleas if not 
of bugs. Stiff' and sore and weak, I groaningly lay down 
where the light of the moon came through a broken window, 
for bugs feed but little except in darkness, and with my 
saddle-bags for a pillow, again essayed to sleep. Fleas ! in- 
stantly. There was nothing else to be done ; I was too tired 
to sit up, even if that woidd have effectually removed the 
annoyance. Finally I dozed — not long, I think, for I was 
suddenly awakened by a large insect dropping upon my eye. 
I struck it off, and at the moment it stung me. My eyelid 
swelled immediately, and grew painful, but at length I slept 
in spite of it. I was once more awakened by a large beetle 
which fell on me from the window ; once more I got asleep, 
till finally at four o'clock I awoke with that feverish dryness 
of the eyes which indicates a determination to sleep no more. 
It was daylight, and I was stiff and shivering ; the inflamma- 
tion and pain of the sting in my eyelid had in a great degree 
subsided. I pushed back the bolt of the outside door-lock, 
and went to the stable. The negroes were already at work 
in the field. Belshazzar had had a bad night too : that was 
evident. The floor of the stall, being of earth, had been 
trodden into two hollows at each end, leaving a small rough 
hillock in the centre. Bad as it was, however, it was the 
best in the stable ; only one in four of the stalls having a 
manger that was not broken down. A wee little black girl 
and boy were cleaning their master's horses — mine they were 
afraid of. They had managed to put some fresh corn in his 



THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS. 89 

manger, however, and as he refused to eat, I took a curry- 
comb and brash, and in the next two hours gave him the first 
thorough grooming he had enjoyed since I owned him. I 
could not detect the reason of his loss of appetite. I had 
been advised by an old southern traveller to examine the corn 
when my horse refused to eat — if corn were high I might find 
that it had been greased. From the actions of the horse, 
then and subsequently, I suspect some trick of this kind was 
here practised upon me. When I returned to the house and 
asked to wash, water was given me in a vessel which, though 
I doubted the right of my host to a medical diploma, certainly 
smelt strongly of the shop — it was such as is used by apotheca- 
ries in mixing drugs. The title of Doctor is often popularly 
given at the South to druggists and venders of popular medi- 
cines ; very probably he had been one, and had now retired 
to enjoy the respectability of a planter. 

June 2nd. — I met a ragged old negro, of whom I asked the 
way, and at what house within twelve miles I had better stop. 
He advised me to go to one more than twelve miles distant. 

" I suppose," said I, "I can stop at any house along the 
road here, can't I ? They'll all take in travellers ?" 

" Yes, sir, if you'll take rough fare, such as travellers has 
to, sometimes. They're all damn'd rascals along dis road, for 
ten or twelve miles, and you'll get nothin' but rough fare. 
But I say, massa, rough fare 's good enough for dis world ; 
ain't it, massa ? Dis world ain't nothin ; dis is hell, dis is, 
I calls it ; hell to what 's a comin' arter, ha ! ha ! Ef you 's 
prepared ? you says. I don't look much 's if I was prepared, 
does I ? nor talk like it, nuther. De Lord he cum to me in 
my cabin in de night time, in de year '45." 

" What ?" 

" De Lord ! massa, de bressed Lord ! He cum to me in 



90 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

de night time, in de year '45, and he says to me, says he, 
' I'll spare you yet five year longer, old boy !' So when '50 
cum round I thought my time had cum, sure ; but as I didn't 
die, I reckon de Lord has 'cepted of me, and I 'specs I shall 
be saved, dough I don't look much like it, ha ! ha ! ho ! ho ! 
de Lord am my rock, and he shall not perwail over me. I 
will lie down in green pastures and take up my bed in hell, 
yet will not His mercy circumwent me. Got some baccy, 
master ?" 

A little after sunset I came to an unusually promising 
plantation, the dwelling being within a large enclosure, in 
which there was a well-kept southern sward shaded by fine 
trees. The house, of the usual form, was painted white, and 
the large number of neat out-buildings seemed to indicate 
opulence, and, I thought, unusual good taste in its owner, 
A lad of sixteen received me, and said I could stay ; I might 
fasten my horse, and when the negroes came up he would 
have him taken care of. When I had done so, and had 
brought the saddle to the verandah, he offered me a chair, 
and at once commenced a conversation in the character of 
entertainer. Nothing in his tone or manner would have 
indicated that he was not the father of the family, and pro- 
prietor of the establishment. No prince royal could have 
had more assured and nonchalant dignity. Yet a northern 
stable-boy, or apprentice, of his age, would seldom be found 
as ignorant. 

" Where do you live, sir, when you are at home ?" he 
asked. 

" At New York." 

" New York is a big place, sir, I expect ?" 

"Yes, very big." 

" Big as New Orleans, is it, sir ?" 

" Yes, much bigger." 



THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS. 91 

" Bigger 'n New Orleans ? It must be a bully city." 

" Yes ; the largest in America." 

" Sickly there now, sir ?" 

" No, not now ; it is sometimes." 

" Like New Orleans, I suppose ?" 

" No, never so bad as New Orleans sometimes is." 

" Eight healthy place, I expect, sir ?" 

" Yes, I believe so, for a place of its size." 

" What diseases do you have there, sir ?" 

" All sorts of diseases — not so much fever, however, as you 
have hereabouts." 

" Measles and hooping-cough, sometimes, I reckon ?" 

" Yes, 'most all the time, I dare say." 

" All the time ! People must die there right smart. Some 
is dyin' 'most every day, I expect, sir ?" 

" More than a hundred every day, I suppose." 

" Gosh ! a hundred every day ! Almighty sickly place 't 
must be ?" 

"It is such a large place, you see — seven hundred thousand 
people." 

" Seven hundred thousand — expect that's a heap of people, 
ain't it ?" 

His father, a portly, well-dressed man, soon came in, and 
learning that I had been in Mexico, said, " I suppose there's 
a heap of Americans nocking in and settling up that country 
along on the line, ain't there, sir ?" 

" No, sir, very few. I saw none, in fact — only a few 
Irishmen and Frenchmen, who called themselves Americans. 
Those were the only foreigners I saw, except negroes." 

" Niggers ! Where were they from ?" 

" They were runaways from Texas." 

" But their masters go there and get them again, don't 
they ?" 



92 COTTON AND SLAVEBY. 

" No, sir, they can't." 

"Why not?" 

" The Mexicans are friendly to the niggers, and protect 
them." 

" But why not go to the Government ?" 

" The Government considers them as free, and will not let 
them he taken hack." 

" But that's stealing, sir. Why don't our Government make 
them deliver them up ? What good is the Government to us 
if it don't preserve the rights of property, sir ? Niggers are 
property, ain't they ? and if a man steals my property, ain't 
the Government bound to get it for me ? Niggers are pro- 
perty, sir, the same as horses and cattle, and nobody's any 
more right to help a nigger that's run away than he has to 
steal a horse." 

He spoke very angrily, and was excited. Perhaps he was 
indirectly addressing me, as a Northern man, on the general 
subject of fugitive slaves. I said that it was necessary to 
have special treaty stipulations about such matters. The 
Mexicans lost their peons — bounden servants ; they ran away 
to our side, but the United States Government never took any 
measures to restore them, nor did the Mexicans ask it. 
"But," he answered, in a tone of indignation, " those are not 
niggers, are they ? They are white people, sir, just as 
white as the Mexicans themselves, and just as much right to 
be free." 

My horse stood in the yard till quite dark, the negroes not 
coming in from the cotton-field. I twice proposed to take 
him to the stable, but he said, " No : the niggers would come 
up soon and attend to him." Just as we were called to supper, 
the negroes began to make their appearance, getting over a 
fence with their hoes, and the master called to one to put the 
horse in the stable, and to "take good care of him." "I 



THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS. 93 

want him to have all the corn he'll eat," said I. " Yes, sir ; 
feed him well ; do you hear there ?" 

The house was meagrely furnished within, not nearly as 
well as the most common New England farm-house. I saw 
no hooks and no decorations. The interior wood- work was 
unpainted. 

At supper there were three negro girls in attendance — two 
children of twelve or fourteen years of age, and an older one, 
but in a few moments they all disappeared. The mistress 
called aloud several times, and at length the oldest came, 
bringing in hot biscuit. 

" Where's Suke and Bet ?" 

" In the kitchen, missus." 

" Tell them both to come to me, right off." 

A few minutes afterwards, one of the girls slunk in and 
stood behind me, as far as possible from her mistress. Pre- 
sently, however, she was discovered. 

" You Bet, you there ? Come here ! come here to me ! 
close to me ! (Slap, slap, slap>.) Now, why don't you stay 
in here ? (Slap, slap, slap, on the side of the head.) I 
know ! you want to be out in the kitchen with them Indians ! 
(Slap, slap, slap.) Now see if you can stay here." (Slap /) 
The other girl didn't come at all, and was forgotten. 

As soon as supper was over my hostess exclaimed, " Now, 
you Bet, stop crying there, and do you go right straight 
home ; mind you run every step of the way, and if you stop 
one minute in the kitchen you'd better look out. Begone !" 
During the time I was in the house she was incessantly scold- 
ing the servants, in a manner very disagreeable for me to 
hear, though they seemed to regard it very little. 

The Indians, I learned, lived some miles away, and were 
hired to hoe cotton. I inquired their wages. " Well, it 
costs me about four bits (fifty cents) a day," (including food, 



94 COTTON AND SLAVEKY. 

probably). They worked well for a few days at a time ; 
were better at picking than at hoeing. " They don't pick so 
much in a day as niggers, but do it better." The women 
said they were good for nothing, and her husband had no 
business to j)lant so much cotton that he couldn't 'tend it 
with his own slave hands. 

While at table a young man, very dirty and sweaty, with 
a ragged shirt and no coat on, came in to supper. He was 
surly and rude in his actions, and did not speak a word ; he 
left the table before I had finished, and lighting a pipe, laid 
himself at full length on the floor of the room to smoke. 
This was the overseer. 

Immediately after supper the master told me that he was 
in the habit of going to bed early, and he woidd show me 
where I was to sleep. Pie did so, and left me without a 
candle. It was dark, and I did not know the way to the 
stables, so I soon went to bed. On a feather bed I did not 
enjoy much rest, and when I at last awoke and dressed, 
breakfast was just ready. I said I would go first to look 
after my horse, and did so, the planter following me. I 
found him standing in a miserable stall, in a sorry state ; he 
had not been cleaned, and there were no cobs or other indica- 
tions of his having been fed at all since he had been there. I 
said to my host — 

" He has not been fed, sir !" 

" I wonder ! hain't he ? " Well, I'll have hhn fed. I 
s'pose the overseer forgot him." 

But, instead of going to the crib and feeding him at once 
himself, he returned to the house and blew a horn for a negro ; 
when after a long time one came in sight from the cotton- 
fields, he called to him to go to the overseer for the key of 
the corn-crib and feed the gentleman's horse, and asked me 
now to come to breakfast. The overseer joined us as a 



THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS. 95 

supper ; nothing was said to him about my horse, and he was 
perfectly silent, and conducted himself like an angry or sulky 
man in all his actions. As before, when he had finished his 
meal, without waiting for others to leave the table, he lighted 
a pipe and lay down to rest on the floor. I went to the 
stable and found my horse had been supplied with seven poor 
ears of corn only. I came back to ask for more, but could 
find neither mister nor overseer. While I was packing my 
saddle-bags preparatory to leaving, I heard my host call a 
negro to " clean that gentleman's horse and bring him here." 
As it was late, I did not interpose. While I was putting on 
the bridle, he took off the musquito tent attached to the 
saddle and examined it. I explained why I carried it. 

" You won't want it any more," said he ; " no musquitoes 
of any account where you are going now ; you'd better give 
it to me, sir ; I should like to use it when I go a-fishing ; 
musquitoes are powerful bad in the swamp." After some 
further solicitation, as I seldom used it, I gave it to him. 
Almost immediately afterwards he charged me a dollar for my 
entertainment, which I paid, notwithstanding the value of 
the tent was several times that amount. Hospitality to 
travellers is so entirely a matter of business with the common 
planters. 

I passed the hoe-gang at work in the cotton-field, the 
overseer lounging among them carrying a whip ; there were 
ten or twelve of them ; not one looked up at me. Within 
ten minutes I passed five who were ploughing, with no over- 
seer or driver in sight, and each stopped his plough to gaze 
at me. 

June 3rd. — Yesterday I met a well-dressed man upon the 
road, and inquired of him if he could recommend me to a 
comfortable place to pass the night. 



96 COTTON AND SLAVEKY. 

" Yes, I can," said he ; " you stop at John Watson's. He 
is a real good fellow, and his wife is a nice, tidy woman ; he's 
got a good house, and you'll be as well taken care of there as 
in any place I know." 

" What I am most concerned about is a clean bed," said I. 

" Well, you are safe for that, there." 

So distinct a recommendation was unusual, and when I 
reached the house he had described to me, though it was not 
yet dark, I stopped to solicit entertainment. 

In the gallery sat a fine, stalwart man, and a woman, who 
in size and figure matched him well. Some ruddy, fat chil- 
dren were playing on the steps. The man wore a full beard, 
which is very uncommon in these parts. I rode to a horse- 
block near the gallery, and asked if I could be accommodated 
for the night. " Oh, yes, you can stay here if you can get 
along without any tiling to eat ; we don't have anything to 
eat but once a week." " You look as if it agreed with you, 
I reckon I'll try it for one night." " Alight, sir, alight. 
Why, you came from Texas, didn't you? Your rig looks 
like it," he said, as I dismounted. " Yes, I've just crossed 
Texas, all the way from the Kio Grande. " "Have you 
though ? Well, I'll be right glad to hear something of that 
country." He threw my saddle and bags across the rail of 
the gallery, and we walked together to the stable. 

" I hear that there are a great many Germans in the 
western part of Texas," he said presently. 

" There are a great many ; west of the Guadaloupe, more 
Germans than Americans born." 

" Have they got many slaves ?" 

" No." 

" Well, won't they break off and make a free State down 
there, by and by ?" 

" I should think it not impossible that they might." 



THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS. 97 

" I wish to God they would ; I would like right well to go 
and settle there if it was free from slavery. You see Kansas 
and all the Free States are too far north for me ; I was raised 
in Alabama, and I don't want to move into a colder climate ; 
but I would like to go into a country where they had not got 
this curse of slavery." 

He said this not knowing that I was a Northern man. 
Greatly surprised, I asked, " What are your objections to 
slavery, sir ?" 

" Objections ! The first's here " (striking his breast) ; " I 
never could bring myself to like it. Well, sir, I know slavery 
is wrong, and God '11 put an end to it. It 's bound to come 
to an end, and when the end does come, there'll be woe in 
the land. And, histead of preparing for it, and trying to 
make it as light as possible, we are doing nothing but make 
it worse and worse. That's the way it appears to me, and 
I'd rather get out of these parts before it comes. Then I've 
another objection to it. I don't like to have slaves about me. 
Now, I tell a nigger to go and feed your horse ; I never know 
if he's done it unless I go and see ; and if he didn't know I 
would go and see, and would whip him if I found he hadn't 
fed him, would he feed him ? He'd let him starve. I've got 
as good niggers as anybody, but I never can depend on them; 
they will lie, and they will steal, and take advantage of me in 
every way they dare. Of course they will, if they are slaves. 
But lying and stealing are not the worst of it. I've got a 
family of children, and I don't like to have such degraded 
beings round my house while they are growing up. I know 
what the consequences are to children, of growing up among 
slaves." 

I here told him that I was a Northern man, and asked if 
he could safely utter such sentiments among the people of this 
district, who bore the reputation of being among the most 

VOL. II. H 



98 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

extreme and fanatical devotees of slavery. " I've been told a 
hundred times I should be killed if I were not more prudent 
in expressing my opinions, but, when it comes to killing, I'm 
as good as the next man, and they know it. I never came 
the worst out of a fight yet since I was a boy. I never am 
afraid to speak what I think to anybody. I don't think I 
ever shall be." 

"Are there many persons here who have as bad an opinion 
of slavery as you have ?" 

" I reckon you never saw a conscientious man who had 
been brought up among slaves who did not think of it pretty 
much as I do — did you ?" 

" Yes, I think I have, a good many." 

" Ah, self-interest warps men's minds wonderfully, but I 
don't believe there are many who don't think so, sometimes — 
it's impossible, I know, that they don't." 

Were there any others in this neighbourhood, I asked, who 
avowedly hated slavery ? He replied that there were a good 
many mechanics, all the mechanics he knew, who felt slavery 
to be a great curse to them, and who wanted to see it brought 
to an end in some way. The competition in which they were 
constantly made to feel themselves engaged with slave-labour 
was degrading to them, and they felt it to be so. He knew 
a poor, hard-working man who was lately offered the services 
of three negroes for six years each if he would let them learn 
his trade, but he refused the proposal with indignation, say- 
ing he would starve before he helped a slave to become a me- 
chanic* There was a good deal of talk now among them 

* At Wilmington, North Carolina, on the night of the 27th of July (1857), 
the frame-work of a new building was destroyed by a number of persons, and a 
placard attached to the disjointed lumber, stating that a similar course would be 
pursued in all cases, against edifices that should be erected by negro contractors or 
carpenters, by one of which class of men the house had been constructed. There 
was a public meeting called a few days afterwards, to take this outrage into con- 



THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS. 99 

about getting laws passed to prevent the owners of slaves 
from having them taught trades, and to prohibit slave-me- 
chanics from being hired out. He could go out to-morrow, 
he supposed, and in the course of a day get two hundred sig- 
natures to a paper alleging that slavery was a curse to the 
people of Mississippi, and praying the Legislature to take 
measures to relieve them of it as soon as practicable. (The 
county contains three times as many slaves as whites.) 

He considered a coercive government of the negroes by the 
whites, forcing them to labour systematically, and restraining 
them from a reckless destruction of life and property, at pre- 
sent to be necessary. Of course, he did not think it wrong to 
hold slaves, and the profits of their labour were not more 
than enough to pay a man for looking after them— not if he 
did his duty to them. What was wrong, was making slavery 
so much worse than was necessary. Negroes would improve 
veiy rapidly, if they were allowed, in any considerable 
measure, the ordinary incitements to improvement. He 
knew hosts of negroes who showed extraordinary talents, 
considering their opportunities : there were a great many in 
this part of the country who could read and write, and calcu- 
late mentaUy as well as the general run of white men who 

had been to schools. There were Colonel 's negroes 

some fifty of them; he did not suppose there were any 



aderat.cn, which was numerously attended. Resolutions were adopted, denounc- 
ing the act, and the authorities were instructed to offer a suitable reward for the 
detection and conviction of the rioters. « The impression was conveyed at the 
meeting, says the Wilmington Herald, "that the act had been committed by 
members of an organized association, said to exist here, and to number some two 
hundred and fifty persons, and possibly more, who, as was alleged, to right what 
hey considered a grievance in the matter of negro competition with white labour, 
had adopted the illegal course of which the act in question was an illustration " 
I proceedings ot a similar significance had occurred at various points, especially in 
V lrginia. x J 

H 2 



100 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

fifty more contented people in the world ; they were not 
driven hard, and work was stopped three times a day for 
meals ; they had plenty to eat, and good clothes ; and through 
the whole year they had from Friday night to Monday morn- 
ing to do what they liked with themselves. Saturdays, the 
men generally worked in their patches (private gardens), and 
the women washed and mended clothes. Sundays, they 
nearly all went to a Sabbath School which the mistress taught, 
and to meeting, but they were not obliged to go ; they could 
come and go as they pleased all Saturday and Sunday ; they 
were not looked after at all. Only on Monday morning, if 
there should any one be missing, or any one should come to 
the field with ragged or dirty clothes, he would be whij)ped. 
He had often noticed how much more intelligent and sprightly 
these negroes all were than the common run ; a great many 
of them had books and could read and write ; and on Sundays 
they were smartly dressed, some of them better than he or 
his wife ever thought of dressing. These things were pur- 
chased with the money they made out of their patches, work- 
ing Saturdays. 

There were two other large plantations near him, in both 
of which the negroes were turned out to work at half-past 
three every week-day morning — I might hear the bell ring 
for them — and frequently they were not stopped till nine 
o'clock at night, Saturday nights the same as any other. 
One of them belonged to a very religious lady, and on Sunday 
mornings at half-past nine she had her bell rung for Sunday 
School, and after Sunday School they had a meeting, and 
after dinner another religious service. Every negro on the 
plantation was obliged to attend all these exercises, and if 
they were not dressed clean they were whipped. They were 
never allowed to go off the plantation, and if they were caught 
speaking to a negro from any other place, they were whipped. 



THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS. 101 

They could all of them repeat the catechism, he believed, but 
they were the dullest, and laziest, and most sorrowful looking 
negroes he ever saw. 

As a general rule, the condition of the slaves, as regards 
their material comfort, had greatly improved within twenty 
years. He did not know that it had in other respects. It 
would not be a bit safer to turn them free to shift for them- 
selves, than it would have been twenty years ago. Of this he 
was quite confident. Perhaps they were a little more intelli- 
gent, knew more, but they were not as capable of self- 
guidance, not as much accustomed to work and contrive for 
themselves, as they used to be, when they were not fed and 
clothed nearly as well as now. 

Beyond the excessive labour required of them on some 
plantations, he did not think slaves were often treated with 
unnecessary cruelty. It was necessary to use the lash occa- 
sionally. Slaves never really felt under any moral obligation to 
obey their masters. Faithful service was preached to them 
as a Christian duty, and they pretended to acknowledge it, 
but the fact was that they were obedient just so far as they 
saw that they must be to avoid punishment ; and punishment 
was necessary, now and then, to maintain their faith in their 
master's power. He had seventeen slaves, and he did not 
suppose that there had been a hundred strokes of the whip on 
his place for a year past. 

He asked if there were many Americans in Texas who 
were opposed to slavery, and if they were free to express 
themselves. I said that the wealthy Americans there were 
all slaveholders themselves ; that their influence all went to 
encourage the use of slave-labour, and render labour by whites 
disreputable. " But are there not a good many northern 
men there ?" he asked. The northern men, I replied, were 
chiefly merchants or speculators, who had but one idea, which 



102 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

was to make money as fast as they could ; and nearly all the 
little money there was in that country was in the hands of 
the largest slaveholders. 

If that was the way of things there, he said, there could 
not he much chance of its becoming a Free State. I thought 
the chances were against it, hut if the Germans continued to 
flock into the country, it would rapidly acquire all the 
characteristic features of a free-labour community, including 
an abundance and variety of skilled labour, a home market 
for a variety of crops, denser settlements, and more numerous 
social, educational, and commercial conveniences. There 
would soon be a large body of small proprietors, not so 
wealthy that the stimulus to personal and active industry 
would have been lost, but yet able to indulge in a good many 
luxuries, to found churches, schools, and railroads, and to 
attract thither tradesmen, mechanics, professional men, and 
artists. Moreover, the labourers who were not landholders 
would be intimately blended with them in all their interests ; 
the two classes not living dissociated from each other, as was 
the case generally at the South, but engaged in a constant 
fulfilment of reciprocal obligations. I told him that if such a 
character of society could once be firmly and extensively 
established before the country was partitioned out into these 
little independent negro kingdoms, which had existed from 
the beginning in every other part of the South, I did not 
think any laws would be necessary to prevent slavery. It 
might be a slave State, but it would be a free people. 

On coming from my room in the morning, my host met 
me with a hearty grasp of the hand. " I have slept very' 
little with thinking of what you told me about western Texas. 
I think I shall have to go there. If we could get rid of 
slavery in this region, I believe we would soon be the most 
prosperous people in the world. What a disadvantage it 



THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS. 103 

must be to have your ground all frozen up, and to be obliged 
to fodder your cattle five months in the year, as you do at the 
North. I don't see how you live. I think I should like to 
buy a small farm near some town where I could send my 
children to school — a farm that I could take care of with one 
or two hired men. One thing I wanted to ask you, are the 
Germans learning English at all?" "Oh, yes; they teach 
the children English in their schools." " And have they good 
schools ?" " Wherever they have settled at all closely they 
have. At New Braunfels they employ American as well as 
German teachers, and instruction can be had in the classics, 
natural history, and the higher mathematics." " Upon my 
word, I think I must go there," he replied. (Since then, as 
I hear, an educational institution of a high character, has 
been established by German influence in San Antonio, teachers 
in which are from Harvard.) 

When I left he mounted a horse and rode on with me some 
miles, saying he did not often find an intelligent man who 
liked to converse with him on the question of slavery. It 
seemed to him there was an epidemic insanity on the subject. 
It is unnecessary to state his views at length. They were 
precisely those which used to be common among all respect- 
able men at the South. 

As we rode an old negro met and greeted us warmly. My 
companion hereupon observed that he had never uttered his 
sentiments in the presence of a slave, but in some way all the 
slaves in the country had, he thought, been informed what 
they were, for they all looked to him as their special friend. 
When they got into trouble, they would often come to him 
for advice or assistance. This morning before I was up, a 
negro came to him from some miles distant, who had been 
working for a white man on Sundays till he owed him three 
dollars, which, now that the negro wanted it, he said he 



104 COTTON AND SLAVEKT. 

could not pay. He had given the negro the three dollars, 
for he thought he could manage to get it from the white 
man. 

He confirmed an impression I had hegun to get of the 
purely dramatic character of what passed for religion with 
most of the slaves. One of his slaves was a preacher, and a 
favourite among them. He sometimes went to plantations 
twenty miles away — even further — on a Sunday, to preach a 
funeral sermon, making journeys of fifty miles a day on foot. 
After the sermon, a hat would be passed round, and he some- 
times brought home as much as ten dollars. He was a 
notable pedestrian ; and once when he had committed some 
abominable crime for which he knew he would have to be 
punished, and had run away, he (Mr. "Watson) rode after him 
almost i mm ediately, often got in sight of him, but did not 
overtake him until the second clay, when starting early in the 
morning he overhauled him crossing a broad, smooth field. 
When the runaway parson saw that he could not escape, he 
jumped up into a tree and called out to him, with a cheerful 
voice, " I gin ye a good run dis time, didn't I, massa ?" He 
was the most rascally negro, the worst liar, thief, and 
adulterer on his place. Indeed, when he was preaching, he 
always made a strong point of his own sinfulness, and would 
weep and bellow about it like a bull of Bashan, till he got a 
whole camp meeting into convulsions. 

The night after leaving Mr. Watson's I was kindly received 
by a tradesman, who took me, after closing his shop, to his 
mother's house, a log cabin, but more comfortable than many 
more pretentious residences at which I passed a night on this 
journey. For the first time in many months tea was offered 
me. It was coarse Bohea, sweetened with honey, which was 
stirred into the tea as it boiled in a kettle over the fire, by 



THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS. 105 

the old lady herself, whose especial luxury it seemed to be. 
She asked me if folks ever drank tea at the North, and when 
I spoke of green tea said she had never heard of that kind of 
tea before. They owned a number of slaves, but the young 
man looked after my horse himself. There was a good 
assortment of books and newspapers at this house, and the 
people were quite intelligent and very amiable. 

The next day, I passed a number of small Indian farms, 
very badly cultivated — the corn nearly concealed by weeds. 
The soil became poorer than before, and the cabins of poor 
people more frequent. I counted about ten plantations, or 
negro-cultivated farms, in twenty miles. A planter, at whose 
house I called after sunset, said it was not convenient for him 
to accommodate me, and I was obliged to ride until it was 
quite dark. The next house at which I arrived was one of 
the commonest sort of cabins. I had passed twenty like it 
during the day, and I thought I would take the opportunity 
to get &n interior knowledge of them. The fact that a horse 
and waggon were kept, and that a considerable area of land 
in the rear of the cabin was planted with cotton, showed that 
the family were by no means of the lowest class, yet, as they 
were not able even to hire a slave, they may be considered to 
represent very favourably, I believe, the condition of the 
poor whites of the plantation districts. The whites of the 
county, I observe, by the census, are three to one of the 
slaves ; in the nearest adjoining county, the proportion is 
reversed ; and within a few miles the soil was richer, and 
large plantations occurred. 

It was raining, and nearly nine o'clock. The door of the 
cabin was open, and I rode up and conversed with the occu- 
pant as he stood within. He said that he was not in the 
habit of taking in travellers, and his wife was about sick, but 
if I was a mind to put up with common fare, he didn't care. 



106 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

Grateful, I dismounted and took the seat lie had vacated by 
the fire, while he led away my horse to an open shed in the 
rear — his own horse ranging at large, when not in use, during 
the summer. 

The house was all comprised in a single room, twenty-eight 
by twenty-five feet in area, and open to the roof above. 
There was a large fireplace at one end and a door on each 
side — no windows at all. Two bedsteads, a spinning-wheel, 
a packing-case, which served as a bureau, a cupboard, made 
of rough hewn slabs, two or three deer-skin seated chairs, a 
Connecticut clock, and a large poster of Jayne's patent medi- 
cines, constituted all the visible furniture, either useful or 
ornamental in purpose. A little girl, immediately, without 
having had any directions to do so, got a frying-pan and a 
chunk of bacon from the cupboard, and cutting slices from the 
latter, set it frying for my supper. The woman of the house 
sat sulkily in a chair tilted back and leaning against the logs 
spitting occasionally at the fire, but took no notice* of me, 
barely nodding when I saluted her. A baby lay crying on 
the floor. I quieted it and amused it with my watch till the 
little girl, having made " coffee" and put a piece of corn-bread 
on the table with the bacon, took charge of it. 

I hoped the woman was not very ill. 

" Got the headache right bad," she answered. " Have the 
headache a heap, I do. Knew I should have it to-night. 
Been cuttin' brush in the cotton this artemoon. Knew't 
would bring on my headache. Told him so when I begun." 

As soon as I had finished my supper and fed Jude, the 
little girl put the fragments and the dishes in the cupboard, 
shoved the table into a corner, and dragged a quantity of 
quilts from one of the bedsteads, which she spread upon the 
floor, and presently crawled among them out of sight for the 
night. The woman picked up the child — which, though still 



THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS. 107 

a suckling, she said was twenty-two months old — and nursed 
it, retaking her old position. The man sat with me by the 
fire, his back towards her. The baby having fallen asleep 
was laid away somewhere, and the woman dragged oft' another 
lot of quilts from the beds, spreading them upon the floor. 
Then taking a deep tin pan, she filled it with alternate layers 
of corn-cobs and hot embers from the fire. This the placed 
upon a large block, which was evidently used habitually for 
the purpose, in the centre of the cabin. A furious smoke 
arose from it, and we soon began to cough. " Most too 
much smoke," observed the man. " Hope 'twill drive out all 
the gnats, then," replied the woman. (There is a very minute 
flying insect here, the bite of which is excessively sharp.) 

The woman suddenly dropped off her outer garment and 
stepped from the midst of its folds, in her petticoat ; then, 
taking the baby from the place where she had deposited it, 
lay down and covered herself with the quilts upon the floor. 
The man told me that I could take the bed which remained 
on one of the bedsteads, and kicking off his shoes only, rolled 
himself into a blanket by the side of his wife. I ventured to 
take off my cravat and stockings, as well as my boots, but 
almost immediately put my stockings on again, drawing their 
tops over my pantaloons. The advantage of this arrange- 
ment was that, although my face, eyes, ears, neck, and hands, 
were immediately attacked, the vermin did not reach my legs 
for two or three hours. Just after the clock struck two, I 
distinctly heard the man and the woman, and the girl and 
the dog scratching, and the horse out in the shed stamping 
and gnawing himself. Soon afterward the man exclaimed, 
" Good God Almighty — mighty ! mighty ! mighty !" and 
jumping up pulled off one of his stockings, shook it, scratched 
his foot vehemently, put on the stocking, and lay down 
again with a groan. The two doors were open, and through 



108 COTTON AND SLAVEKT. 

the logs and the openings in the roof, I saw the clouds divide 
and the moon and stars reveal themselves. The woman, 
after having been nearly smothered by the smoke from the 
pan which she had originally placed close to her own pillow, 
rose and placed it on the sill of the windward door, where it 
burned feebly and smoked lustily, like an altar to the Lares, 
all night. Fortunately the cabin was so open that it gave us 
little annoyance, while it seemed to answer the purpose of 
keeping all flying insects at a distance. 

When, on rising in the morning, I said that I would like 
to wash my face, water was given me for the purpose in an 
earthen pie-dish. Just as breakfast, which was of exactly 
the same materials as my supper, was ready, rain began to 
fall, presently in such a smart shower as to put the fire out 
and compel us to move the table under the least leaky part of 
the roof. 

At breakfast occurred the following conversation : — 

" Are there many niggers in New York ?" 

" Very few." 

" How do you get your work done ?" 

" There are many Irish and German people constantly 
coming there who are glad to get work to do." 

" Oh, and you have them for slaves ?" 

" They want money and are willing to work for it. A 
great many American-born work for wages, too." 

" What do you have to pay ?" 

" Ten or twelve dollars a month." 

" There was a heap of Irishmen to work on the railroad ; 
they was paid a dollar a day; there was a good many 
Americans, too, but mostly they had little carts and mules, 
and hauled dirt and sich like. They was paid twenty-five 
or thirty dollars a month and found." 

" What did they find them ?" 



THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS. 109 

" Oh, blanket and shoes, I expect ; they put up kind o' 
tents like for 'em to sleep in altogether." 

" What food did they find them ?" 

" Oh, common food ; bacon and meal." 

" What do they generally give the niggers on the planta- 
tions here?" 

" A peck of meal and three pound of bacon is what they 
call 'lowance, in general, I believe. It takes a heap o' meat 
on a big plantation. I was on one of William K. King's 
plantations over in Alabamy, where there was about fifty 
niggers, one Sunday last summer, and I see 'em weighin' 
outen the meat. Tell you, it took a powerful heap on it. 
They had an old nigger to weigh it out, and he warn't no 
ways partickler about the weight. He just took and chopped 
it off, middlins, in chunks, and he'd throw them into the scales, 
and if a piece weighed a pound or two over he wouldn't mind 
it ; he never took none back. Ain't niggers all-fired sassy at 
the North ?" 

" No, not particularly." 

" Ain't they all free, there ? I hearn so." 

" Yes." 

" Well, how do they get along when they 's free ?" 

" I never have seen a great many, to know their circum- 
stances very well. Eight about where I live they seem to 
me to live quite comfortably ; more so than the niggers on 
these big plantations do, I should think." 

" Oh, they have a mighty hard time on the big plan- 
tations I 'd ruther be dead than to be a nigger on one of 
these big plantations." 

" Why, I thought they were pretty well taken care of on 
them." 

The man and his wife both looked at me as if surprised, 
and smiled. 



110 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

" Why, they are well fed, are they not ?" 

" Oh, but they work 'em so hard. My God, sir, in pickin' 
time on these plantations they start 'em to work 'fore light, 
and they don't give 'em time to eat." 

" I supposed they generally gave them an hour or two at 
noon." 

" No, sir ; they just carry a piece of bread and meat in 
their pockets and they eat it when they can, standin' up. 
They have a hard life on 't, that 's a fact. I reckon you can 
get along about as well withouten slaves as with 'em, can't 
you, in New York ?" 

" In New York there is not nearly so large a proportion of 
very rich men as here. There are very few people who farm 
over three hundred acres, and the greater number — nineteen 
out of twenty, I suppose — work themselves with the hands 
they employ. Yes, I think it's better than it is here, for all 
concerned, a great deal. Folks that can't afford to buy 
niggers get along a great deal better in the Free States, I 
think; and I guess that those who could afford to have 
niggers get along better without them." 

"I no doubt that's so. I wish there wam't no niggers 
here. They are a great cuss to this country, I expect. But 
't wouldn't do to free 'em ; that wouldn't do nohow !" 

" Are there many people here who think slavery a curse to 
the country ?" 

" Oh, yes, a great many. I reckon the majority would be 
right glad if we could get rid of the niggers. But it wouldn't 
never do to free 'em and leave 'em here. I don't know 
anybody, hardly, in favour of that. Make 'em free and leave 
'em here and they'd steal everything we made. Nobody 
couldn't live here then." 

These views of slavery seem to be universal among people of 
this class. They were repeated to me at least a dozen times. 



THE INTERIOR COTTON DISTRICTS. Ill 

"Where I used to live [Alabama], I remember when I 
was a boy — must ha' been about twenty years ago — folks was 
dreadful frightened about the niggers. I remember they 
built pens in the woods where they could hide, and Christmas 
time they went and got into the pens, 'fraid the niggers was 
risin'." 

" I remember the same time where we was in South 
Carolina," said his wife ; " we had all our things put up in bags, 
so we could tote 'em, if we heerd they was comin' our way." 

They did not suppose the niggers ever thought of rising 
now, but could give no better reason for not supposing so than 
that " everybody said there warn't no danger on 't now." 

Hereabouts the plantations were generally small, ten to 
twenty negroes on each ; sometimes thirty or forty. Where 
he used to live they were big ones — forty or fifty, sometimes 
a hundred on each. He had lived here ten years. I could 
not make out why he had not accumulated wealth, so small a 
family and such an inexpensive style of living as he had. He 
generally planted twenty to thirty acres, he said ; this year 
he had sixteen in cotton and about ten, he thought, in corn. 
Decently cultivated, this planting should have produced him 
five hundred dollars' worth of cotton, besides supplying him 
with bread and bacon — his chief expense, apparently. I sug- 
gested that this was a very large planting for his little 
family; he would need some help in picking time. He 
ought to have some now, he said ; grass and bushes w T ere all 
overgrowing him ; he had to work just like a nigger ; this 
durnation rain would just make the weeds jump, and he 
didn't expect he should have any cotton at all. There warn't 
much use in a man's trying to get along by himself; every 
thing seemed to set in agin him. He'd been trying to hire 
somebody, but he couldn't, and his wife was a sickly kind of 
a woman. 



112 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

His wife reckoned he might hire some help if he'd look 
round sharp. 

My horse and dog were as well cared for as possible, and a 
" snack " of bacon and corn-bread was offered me for noon, 
which has been unusual in Mississippi. When I asked what 
I should pay, the man hesitated and said he reckoned what I 
had had, wasn't worth much of anything ; he was sorry he 
could not have accommodated me better. I offered him a 
dollar, for which he thanked me warmly. It is the first 
instance of hesitation in charging for a lodging which I have 
met with from a stranger at the South. 

Northern Alabama, June 15th. — I have to-day reached 
a more distinctly hilly country — somewhat rocky and rugged, 
but with inviting dells. The soil is sandy and less frequently 
fertile ; cotton-fields are seen only at long intervals, the 
crops on the small proportion of cultivated land being chiefly 
corn and oats. I notice also that white men are more com- 
monly at work in the fields than negroes, and this as well 
in the cultivation of cotton as of corn. 

.The larger number of the dwellings are rude log huts, of 
only one room, and that unwholesomely crowded. I saw in 
and about one of them, not more than fifteen feet square, five 
grown persons, and as many children. Occasionally, how- 
ever, the monotony of these huts is agreeably varied by neat, 
white, frame houses. At one such, I dined to-day, and was 
comfortably entertained. The owner held a number of slaves, 
but made no cotton. He owned a saw mill, was the post- 
master of the neighbourhood, and had been in the Legis- 
lature. 

I asked him why the capital had been changed from Tusca- 
loosa to Montgomery. He did not know. " Because Mont- 
gomery is more central and easy of access, probably," I 



THE PIEDMONT COTTON DISTRICT. 113 

suggested. " No, I don't think that had anything to do 
with it." " Is Tuscaloosa an unhealthy place ?" " No, sir ; 
healthier than Montgomery, I reckon." "Was it then 
simply because the people of the southern districts were 
stronger, and used their power to make the capital more con- 
venient of access to themselves ?" " Well, no, I don't think 
that was it, exactly. The fact is, sir, the people here are not 
like you northern people ; they don't reason out everything 
so. They are fond of change, and they got tired of Tusca- 
loosa ; the Montgomery folks wanted it there and offered to 
pay for moving it, so they let 'em have it ; 't was just for a 
change." " If there really was no better reason, was it not 
rather wasteful to give up all the public buildings at Tusca- 
loosa ?" " Oh, the Montgomery people wanted it so bad they 
promised to pay for building a new State House ; so it did 
not cost anything." 

Quite on a par with the economics of southern commercial 
conventions. 

I passed the night at the second framed house that I saw 
during the day, stopping early in order to avail myself of its 
promise of comfort. It was attractively situated on a hill- 
top, with a peach orchard near it. The proprietor owned a 
dozen slaves, and "made cotton," he said, "with other crops." 
He had some of his neighbours at tea and at breakfast ; 
sociable, kindly people, satisfied with themselves and their 
circumstances, which I judged from their conversation had 
been recently improving. One coming in, remarked that he 
had discharged a white labourer whom he had employed for 
some time past ; the others congratulated him on being 
"shet" of him; all seemed to have noticed him as a bad, 
lazy man ; he had often been seen lounging in the field, 
rapping the negroes with his hoe if they didn't work to suit 
him. " He was about the meanest white man I ever see," 

VOL. II. I 



114 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

said a woman ; "he was a heap meaner 'n niggers. I reckon 
niggers would come somewhere between white folks and such 
as he." " The first thing I tell a man," said another, " when 
I hire him, is, ' if there's any whippin' to be done on this 
place I want to do it myself.' If I saw a man rappin' my 
niggers with a hoe-handle, as I see him, durned if I wouldn't 
rap him — the lazy whelp." 

One of the negroes complimented my horse. "Dar's a 
heap of genus in dat yar hoss's head !" The proprietor looked 
after the feeding himself. 

These people were extremely kind ; inquiring with the sim- 
plest good feeling about my domestic relations and the purpose 
of my journey. When I left, one of them walked a quarter of 
a mile to make sure that I went upon the right road. The 
charge for entertainment, though it was unusually good, was 
a quarter of a dollar less than I have paid before, which I 
mention, not as Mr. De Bow would suppose,* out of grati- 
tude for the moderation, but as an indication of the habits of 
the people, showing, as it may, either closer calculation, or 
that the district grows its own supplies, and can furnish food 
cheaper than those in which attention is more exclusively 
given to cotton. 

June 11th. — The country continues hilly, and is well popu- 
lated by farmers, living in log huts, while every mile or two, 
on the more level and fertile land, there is a larger farm, with 
ten or twenty negroes at work. A few whites are usually 
working near them, in the same field, generally ploughing 
while the negroes hoe. 

About noon, my attention was attracted towards a person 
upon a ledge, a little above the road, who was throwing up 
earth and stone with a shovel. I stopped to see what the 
purpose of this work might be, and perceived that the shoveller 

* See De Bow's Review, for August, 1857 p. 117. 



THE PIEDMONT COTTON DISTRICT. 115 

was a woman, who, presently discovering me, stopped and 
called to others behind her, and immediately a stout girl and 
two younger children, with a man, came to the edge and 
looked at me. The woman was bareheaded, and otherwise 
half-naked, as perhaps needed to be, for her work would have 
been thought hard by our stoutest labourers, and it was the 
hottest weather of the summer, in the latitude of Charleston, 
and on a hill-side in the full face of the noon sun. I pushed 
my horse up the hill until I reached them, when another man 
ap|3eared, and in answer to my inquiries told ma that they 
were getting out iron ore. One was picking in a vein, having 
excavated a short adit ; the other man picked looser ore exte- 
rior to the vein. The women and children shovelled out the 
ore and piled it on kilns of timber, where they roasted it to 
make it crumble. It was then carted to a forge, and they 
were paid for it by the load. They were all clothed very 
meanly and scantily. The women worked, so far as I could 
see, as hard as the men. The children, too, even to the 
youngest — a boy of eight or ten — were carrying large lumps 
of ore, and heaving them into the kiln, and shovelling the 
finer into a screen to separate the earth from it. 

Immediately after leaving them I found a good spot for 
nooning. I roped my horse out to graze, and spread my 
blanket in a deep shade. I noticed that the noise of their 
work had ceased, and about fifteen minutes afterwards, Jude 
suddenly barking, I saw one of the men peering at me 
through the trees, several rods distant. I called to him 
to come up. He approached rather slowly and timidly, 
examined the rope with which my horse was fastened, eyed 
me vigilantly, and at length asked if I was resting myself. 
I replied that I was ; and he said that he did not know but 
I might be sick, and had come to see me. I thanked him, 
and offered him a seat upon my blanket, which he declined. 

i 2 



116 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

Presently he took up a newspaper that I had been reading, 
looked at it for a moment, then he told me he couldn't read. 
" Folks don't care much for edication round here ; it would be 
better for 'em, I expect, if they did." He began then to 
question me closely about my circumstances — where I came 
from, whither I was going, etc. 

When his curiosity was partially appeased he suddenly 
laughed in a silly manner, and said that the people he had been 
working with had watched me after I left them ; they saw me 
ride up the hill and stop, ride on again, and finally take off my 
saddle, turn my horse loose and tote my saddle away, and they 
were much frightened, thinking I must be crazy at least. When 
he started to come toward me they told him he wouldn't dare 
to go to me, but he saw how it was, well enough — I was just 
resting myself. 

" If I should run down hill now," said he, " they'd start 
right off and wouldn't stop for ten mile, reckoning you was 
arter me. That would be fun ; oh, we have some good fun 
here sometimes with these green folks. There's an amazin' 
ignorant set round here." 

I asked if they were foreigners. 

' Oh, no ; they are common, no account people ; they used 
to live over the hill, here ; they come right nigh starvin' thar, 
I expect." 

They had not been able to get any work to do, and had 
been "powerful poor," until he got them to come here. 
They had taken an old cabin, worked with him, and were 
doing right well now. He didn't let them work in the vein 
— he kept that for himself — but they worked all around, and 
some days they made a dollar and a half — the man, woman, 
and children together. They had one other girl, but she 
had to stay at home to take care of the baby and keep cattle 
and hogs out of their " gardien." He had known the woman 



THE PIEDMONT COTTON DISTRICT. 117 

when she was a girl ; " she was always a good one to work. 
She'd got a voice like a bull, and she was as smart as a wild 
cat ; but the man warn't no account." 

He had himself followed this business (mining) since he was 
a young man, and could earn three dollars a day by it if he 
tried ; he had a large family and owned a small farm : never 
laid up anything, always kept himself a little in debt at the 
store. 

He asked if I had not found the people " more friendly 
like " up in this country to what they were down below, and 
assured me that I would find them grow more friendly as I went 
further North, so at least he had heard, and he knew where 
he first came from (Tennessee) the people were more friendly 
than they were here. " The richer a man is," he continued, 
pursuing a natural association of ideas, "and the more nig- 
gers he's got, the poorer he seems to live. If you want to 
fare well in this country you stop to poor folks' housen ; they 
try to enjoy what they've got, while they ken, but these yer 
big planters they don' care for nothing but to save. Now, 
I never calculate to save anything ; I tell my wife I work 
hard, and I mean to enjoy what I earn as fast as it comes." 

Sometimes he " took up bee-huntin' for a spell," and made 
money by collecting wild honey. He described his manner of 
finding the hives and securing the honey, and, with a hushed 
voice, told me a " secret," which was, that if you carried three 
leaves, each of a different tree (?) in your hand, there was 
never a bee would dare to sting you. 

I asked about his children. He had one grown-up son, 
who was doing very well; he was hired by the gentleman 
who owned the forge, to cart ore. He had nothing to do but 
to drive a team ; he didn't have to load, and he had a nigger 
to take care of the horses when his day's teaming was done. 

His wages were seven dollars a month, and board for him- 



118 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

self and wife. They ate at the same table with the gentleman, 
and had good living, beside having something out of the store, 
"tobacco and so on — tobacco for both on 'em, and two 
people uses a good deal of tobacco you know ; so that's pretty 
good wages — seven dollars a month besides their keep and 
tobacco." Irishmen, he informed me, had been employed 
occasionally at the forge. " They do well at first, only they 
is apt to get into fights all the time ; but after they've been 
here a year or two, they get to feel so independent and keer- 
less-like, you can't get along with 'em." He remained about 
half an hour, and not till he returned did I hear again the 
noise of picking and shovelling, and cutting timber. 

At the forges, I was told, slave labour is mainly employed — 
the slaves being owned by the proprietors of the forges. 

I spent that night at a large inn in a village. In the 
morning as I sat waiting in my room, a boy opened the door. 
Without looking up I asked, " Well ?" 

" I didn't say nuthin', sar," with a great grin. 

" What are you waiting there for ?" " Please, massa, I 
b'leve you T s owin' me suthin', sar." " Owing you something ? 
What do you mean ?" " For drying yer clothes for yer, sar, 
last night." I had ordered him immediately after tea to go 
up stairs and get my clothes, which had been drenched in a 
shower, and hang them by the kitchen fire, that they might 
be dry if I should wish to leave early in the morning. When 
I went to my bedroom at nine o'clock I found the clothes 
where I had left them. I went down and reported it to the 
landlord, who directly sent the boy for them. In the morning, 
when I got them again I found they were not dry except 
where they were burned. I told him to be gone ; but with 
the door half open, he stood putting in his head, bowing and 
grinning. " Please, sar, massa sent me out of an errand, 
and I was afeard you would be gone before I got back ; dat's 



THE PIEDMONT COTTON DISTRICT. 119 

the reason why I mention it, sar ; dat's all, sar ; I hope you'll 
skuse me, sar." 

During the afternoon I rode on through a valley, narrow 
and apparently fertile, but the crops indifferent. The general 
social characteristics were the same that I met with yester- 
day. 

At night I stopped at a large house having an unusual 
number of negro cabins and stables about it. The proprietor, 
a hearty old farmer, boasted much of his pack of hounds, 
saying they had pulled down five deer before he had had a 
shot at them. He was much interested to hear about Texas, 
the Indians and the game. He reckoned there was " a heap 
of big varmint out thar." 

His crop of cotton did not average two bales to the hand, 
and corn not twenty bushels to the acre. 

He amused me much with a humorous account of an oyster 
supper to which he had been invited in town, and his attempts 
to eat the " nasty things " without appearing disconcerted 
before the ladies. 

An old negro took my horse when I arrived, and half an 
hour afterward, came to me and asked if I wanted to see him 
fed. As we walked toward the stables, he told me that he 
always took care not to forget gentlemen's bosses, and to treat 
them well ; " then," he said, bowing and with emphasis, 
"they looks out and don't forget to treat me well." 

The same negro was called to serve me as a candlestick at 
bedtime. He held the candle till I got into bed. As he re- 
tired I closed my eyes, but directly afterward, perceiving the 
light return, I opened them. Uncle Abram was bending 
over me, holding the candle, grinning with his toothless gums, 
winking and shaking his head in a most mysterious manner. 

"Hush! massa," he whispered. "You hain't got some- 
tiling to drink, in dem saddle-bags, has you, sar ?" 



120 COTTON AND SLAVEKY. 

The farmer told me something about " nigger dogs ;" they 
didn't use foxhounds, but bloodhounds — not pure, he thought, 
but a cross of the Spanish bloodhound with the common 
hounds, or curs. There were many men, he said, in the 
country below here, who made a business of nigger-hunting, 
and they had their horses trained, as well as the dogs, to go 
over any common fence, or if they couldn't leap it, to break it 
down. Dogs were trained, when pups, to follow a nigger — 
not allowed to catch one, however, unless they were quite 
young, so that they couldn't hurt him much, and they were 
always taught to hate a negro, never being permitted to see 
one except to be put in chase of him. He believed that only 
two of a pack were kept kenneled all the time — these were old, 
keen ones, who led the rest when they were out ; they were 
always kept coupled together with a chain, except when trail- 
ing. He had seen a pack of thirteen who would follow a 
trail two days and a half old, if rain had not fallen in the 
mean time. When it rained immediately after a negro got 
off, they .had to scour the country where they supposed he 
might be, till they scented him. 

When hard pushed, a negro always took to a tree ; some- 
times, however, they would catch him in an open field. When 
this was the case the hunter called off the dogs as soon as he 
could, unless the negro fought — " that generally makes 'em 
mad (the hunters), and they'll let 'em tear him a spell. The 
owners don't mind having them kind o' niggers tore a good 
deal ; runaways ain't much account nohow, and it makes the 
rest more afraid to run away, when they see how they are 
sarved." If they caught the runaway within two or three 
days, they got from £ 10 to g 20 ; if it took a longer time, 
they were paid more than that ; sometimes $ 200. They 
asked their own price ; if an owner should think it exorbitant, 
lie supposed, he said in reply to an inquiry, they'd turn the 



THE PIEDMONT COTTON DISTRICT. 121 

nigger loose, order him to make off, and tell his master to 
catch his own niggers. 

Sunday. — I rode on, during the cool of the morning, about 
eight miles, and stopped for the day, at a house pleasantly 
situated by a small stream, among wooded hills. During the 
forenoon, seven men and three women, with their children, 
gathered at the house. All of them, I concluded, were non- 
slaveholders, as was our host himself; though, as one told 
me, "with his five boys he makes a heap more crop than 

Mrs. , who's got forty niggers." "How is that?" "Well, 

she's a woman, and she can't make the niggers work ; she 
won't have a overseer, and niggers won't work, you know, 
unless there's somebody to drive 'em." 

Our host, when I arrived, had just been pulling weeds out 
of his potato patch, which he mentioned as an apology for not 
being a little clean, like the rest. 

Beside the company I have mentioned, and the large family 
of the house, there was another traveller and myself to 
dinner, and three bountiful tables were spread, one after 
another. 

The traveller was said to be a Methodist preacher, but 
gave no indication of it, except that he said grace before meat, 
and used the Hebrew word for Sunday. He was, however, a 
man of superior intelligence to the others, who were ignorant 
and stupid, though friendly and communicative. He asked 
me "what a good nigger man could be bought for in New 
York ;" he didn't seem surprised, or make any further inquiry, 
when I told him we had no slaves there. Some asked me 
much about crops, and when I told them that my crops of 
wheat for six years had averaged twenty-eight bushels, and 
that I had once reaped forty from a single acre, they were 
amazed beyond expression, and anxious to know how 1 " put 



122 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

it in." I described the process minutely, which astonished 
them still more ; and one man said he had often thought they 
might get more wheat if they put it in differently ; he had 
thought that perhaps more wheat would grow if more seed 
were sown, but he never tried it. The general practice, they 
told me, was to sow wheat on ground from which they had 
taken maize, without removing the maize stumps, or ploughing 
it at all ; they sowed three pecks of wheat to the acre, and 
then ploughed it in — that was all. They used the cradle, but 
had never heard of reaping machines ; the crop was from five 
to ten bushels an acre ; ten bushels was extraordinary, six was 
not thought bad. Of cotton, the ordinary crop was five 
hundred pounds to the acre, or from one to two bales to a 
hand. Of maize, usually from ten to twenty bushels to the 
acre ; last year not over ten ; this year they thought it would 
be twenty-five on the best land. 

The general admiration of Jude brought up the topic of 
negro dogs again, and the clergyman told a story of a man 
who hunted niggers near where he lived. He was out once 
with another man, when after a long search, they found the 
dogs barking up a big cottonwood tree. They examined the 
tree closely without finding any negro, and concluded that 
the dogs must have been foiled, and they were about to go 
away, when Mr.— — , from some distance off, thought he saw 
a negro's leg very high up in the tree, where the leaves and 
moss were thick enough to hide a man lying on the top of a 
limb with his feet against the trunk. He called out, as if he 
really saw a man, telling him to come down, but nothing 
stirred. He sent for an axe, and called out again, saying he 
would cut the tree to the ground if he didn't come down. 
There was no reply. He then cut half through the tree on 
one side, and was beginning on the other, when the negro 
halloed out that if he would stop he would come down. He 



THE PIEDMONT COTTON DISTRICT. 123 

stopped cutting, and the negro descended to the lowest limb, 
which was still far from the ground, and asked the hunter to 
take away his dogs, and promise they shouldn't tear him. 
But the hunter swore he'd make no conditions with him after 
having been made to cut the tree almost down. 

The negro said no more, but retained his position until the 
tree was nearly cut in two. When it began to totter, he slid 
down the trunk, the dogs springing upon him as soon as he 
was within their reach. He fought them hard, and got hold 
of one by the ear ; that made them fiercer, and they tore him 
till the hunter was afraid they'd kill him, and stopped them. 

" Are dogs allowed to tear the negroes when thev catch them ? 

" When the hunters come up they always call them off, 
unless the nigger fights. If the nigger fights 'em that makes 
'em mad, and they let 'em tear him good," said the clergyman. 

There were two or three young women present, and the 
young men were sparking with them in the house, sitting on 
the beds for want of sofas, the chairs being all in use outside ; 
the rest of the company sat on the gallery most of the time, 
but there was little conversation. It was twice remarked to 
me, " Sunday's a dull day — nothing to do." 

As the Methodist and I were reading after dinner, I 
noticed that two or three were persuading the others to go 
with them somewhere, and I asked where they purposed to go. 
They said they wanted to go over the mountain to limit a bull. 

" To shoot him ?" 

" Oh, no, it's a working bull ; they got his mate yesterday. 
There ain't but one pair of cattle in this neighbourhood, and 
they do all the hauling for nine families." They belonged, 
together with their waggon, to one man, and the rest borrowed 
of him. They wanted them this week to cart in their oats. 
The stray bull was driven in toward night, yoked with an- 
other to a waggon, and one of the women, with her family, got 



124 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

into the waggon and was carried home. The bulls were 
fractious and had to be led by one man, while another urged 
them forward with a cudgel. 

Last night by the way a neighbour came into the house of 
Uncle Abram's master, and in the course of conversation about 
crops, said that on Sunday he went over to John Brown's to 
get him to come out and help him at his harvesting. He 
found four others there for the same purpose, but John said 
he didn't feel well, and he reckoned he couldn't work. He 
offered him a dollar and a half a day to cradle for him ; but 
when he tried to persuade him, John spoke out plainly and 
said, "he'd be d — d if he was going to work anyhow;" so he 
said to the others, " Come, boys, we may as well go ; you can't 
make a lazy man work when he's determined he won't." He 
supposed that remark made him mad, for on Thursday John 
came running across his cotton patch, where he was plough- 
ing. He didn't speak a word to him, but cut along over to 
his neighbour's house, and told him that he had shot two 
deer, and wanted his hounds to catch 'em, promising to give 
him half the venison if he succeeded. He did catch one of 
them, and kept his promise. 

This man Brown, they told me, had a large family, and 
lived in a little cabin on the mountain. He pretended to 
plant a corn patch, but he never worked it, and didn't make 
any corn. They reckoned he lived pretty much on what com 
and hogs he could steal, and on game. The children were 
described as pitiably, " scrawny," half-starved little wretches. 
Last summer his wife had come to one of them, saying they 
had no corn, and she wanted to pick cotton to earn some. 
He had let her go in with the niggers and pick. She kept at 
it for two days, and took her pay in corn. Afterward he saw 
her little boy " toting " it to the mill to be ground — much too 
heavy a load for him. 



THE PIEDMONT COTTON DISTRICT. 125 

I asked if there were many such vagabonds. 

" Yes, a great many on the mountain, and they make a 
heap of trouble. There is a law by which they might be 
taken up [if it could be proved that they have no 'visible 
means of support'] and made to work to support their 
families ; but the law is never used." 

Speaking of another man, one said : " He'll be here to 

breakfast, at your house to dinner, and at Dr. 's to 

supper, leaving his family to live as best they can." They 
"reckoned" he got most of his living in that way, while his 
family had to get theirs by stealing. He never did any work 
except hunting, and they " reckoned " he killed about as 
many shoats and yearlings as deer and turkeys. 

They said that this sort of people were not often in- 
temperate ; they had no money to buy liquor with ; now and 
then, when they'd sold some game or done a little work to 
raise money, they'd have a spree ; but they were more apt to 
gamble it off or spend it for fine clothes and things to trick 
out their wives. 

$ 
June — . To-day, I am passing through a valley of thin, 

sandy soil, thickly populated by poor farmers. Negroes are 
rare, but occasionally neat, new houses, with other im- 
provements, show the increasing prosperity of the district. 
The majority of dwellings are small log cabins of one room, 
with another separate cabin for a kitehen ; each house has a 
well, and a garden inclosed with palings. Cows, goats, mules 
and swine, fowls and doves are abundant. The people are 
more social than those of the lower country, falling readily 
into friendly conversation with a traveller. They are very 
ignorant ; the agriculture is wretched and the work hard. I 
have seen three white women hoeing field crops to-day. A 
spinning-wheel is heard in every house, and frequently a loom 



123 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

is clanging in the gallery, always worked by women ; every 
one wears homespun. The negroes have much more individual 
freedom than in the rich cotton country, and are not un- 
frequently heard singing or whistling at their work. 

Tennessee, June 29th. — At nightfall I entered a broader and 
more populous valley than I had seen before during the day, 
but for some time there were only small single room log 
cabins, at which I was loath to apply for lodging. At length I 
reached a large and substantial log house with negro cabins. 
The master sat in the stoop . I asked if he could accommodate me. 

" What do you want ?" 

" Something to eat for myself and horse, and room to sleep 
under your roof." 

" The wust on't is," he said, getting up and coming toward 
me, "we haven't got much for your horse." 

" You've got corn, I suppose." 

" No, hain't got no corn but a little that we want for our- 
selves, only just enough to bread us till corn comes again." 

" Well, you have oats ?" 

" Hain't got an oat." 

" Haven't you hay ?" 

" No." 

" Then I must go further, for my horse can't travel on 
fodder." 

" Hain't got nary fodder nuther." 

Fortunately I did not have to go much further before I 
came to the best house I had seen during the day, a large, 
neat, white house, with negro shanties, and an open log cabin 
in the front yard. A stout, elderly, fine-looking woman, in 
a cool white niuslin dress sat upon the gallery, fanning 
herself. Two little negroes had just brought a pail of fresh 
water, and she was drinking of it with a gourd, as I came to 



THE HIGHLANDERS. 127 

the gate. I asked if it would be convenient for her to 
accommodate me for the night, doubtingly, for I had learned to 
distrust the accommodations of the wealthy slaveholders. 

" Oh yes, get down ; fasten your horse there, and the 
niggers will take care of him when they come from their work. 
Come up here and take a seat." 

I brought in my saddle-bags. 

" Bring them in here, into the parlour," she said, " where 
they'll be safe." 

The interior of the house was furnished with unusual 
comfort. " The parlour," however, had a bed in it. As we 
came out, she locked the door. 

We had not sat long, talking about the weather (she was 
suffering much from the heat), when her husband came. He 
was very hot also, though dressed coolly enough in merely a 
pair of short-legged, unbleached cotton trousers, and a shirt 
with the bosom spread open — no shoes nor stockings. He 
took his seat before speaking to me, and after telling his wife 
it was the hottest day he ever saw, squared his chair toward 
me, threw it back so as to recline against a post, and said 
gruffly, " (rood evening, sir ; you going to stay here to-night ?" 

I replied, and he looked at me a few moments without 
speaking. He was, in fact, so hot that he spoke with difficulty. 
At length he got breath and asked abruptly : " You a 
mechanic, sir, or a dentist, eh — or what ?" 

Supper was cooked by two young women, daughters of the 
master of the house, assisted by the two little negro boys. 
The cabin in front of the house was the kitchen, and when 
the bacon was dished up, one of the boys struck an iron 
triangle at the door. " Come to supper," said the host, and 
led the way to the kitchen, which was also the supper-room. 
One of the young ladies took the foot of the table, the other 
seated herself apart by the fire, and actually waited on the 



128 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

table, though the two negro boys stood at the head and foot, 
nominally waiters, but always anticipated by the Cinderella, 
when anything was wanted. 

A big lout of a youth who came from the field with the 
negroes, looked in, but seeing me, retired. His father called, but 
his mother said, " 't wouldn't do no good — he was so bashful." 

Speaking of the climate of the country, I was informed 
that a majority of the folks went barefoot all winter, though 
they had snow much of the time four or five inches deep, and 
the man said he didn't thiuk most of the men about here had 
more than one coat, and they never wore any in winter except 
on holidays. " That was the healthiest way," he reckoned, 
"just to toughen yourself and not wear no coat ; no matter 
how cold it was, he didn't wear no coat." 

The master held a candle for me while I undressed, in a 
large room above stairs ; and gave me my choice of the fom* 
beds in it. I found one straw bed (with, as usual, but one 
sheet), on which I slept comfortably. At midnight I was 
awakened by some one coming in. I rustled my straw, and 
a voice said, " Who is there in this room ?" 

" A stranger passing the night ; who are you ?" 

" All right ; I belong here. I've been away and have just 
come home." 

He did not take his clothes off to sleep. He turned out to 
be an older son who had been fifty miles away, looking after 
a stray horse. When I went down stairs in the morning, 
having been wakened early by flies, and the dawn of day 
through an open window, I saw the master lying on his bed 
in the " parlour," still asleep in the clothes he wore at supper. 
His wife was washing her face on the gallery, being already 
dressed for the day ; after using the family towel, she went 
into the kitchen, but soon returned, smoking a pipe, to her 
chair in the doorway. 



THE HIGHLANDERS. 129 

Yet every tiling betokened an opulent and prosperous man 
— rich land, extensive field crops, a number of negroes, and 
considerable herds of cattle and horses. He also had capital 
invested in mines and railroads, he told me. His elder son 
spoke of him as " the squire." 

A negro woman assisted in preparing breakfast (she had 
probably been employed in the field labour the night before), 
and both the young ladies were at the table. The squire ob- 
served to me that he supposed we could buy hands very cheap 
in New York. I said we could hire them there at moderate 
wages. He asked if we couldn't buy as many as we wanted, 
by sending to Ireland for them and paying their passage. 
He had supposed we could buy them and hold them as slaves 
for a term of years, by paying the freight on them. When I 
had corrected him, he said, a little hesitatingly, " You don't 
have no black slaves in New York ?" " No, sir." " There's 
niggers there, ain't there, only they're all free ?" " Yes, sir." 
" Well, how do they get along so ?" " So far as I know, the 
most of them live pretty comfortably." (I have changed my 
standard of comfort lately, and am inclined to believe that the 
majority of the negroes at the North live more comfortably 
than the majority of whites at the South.) " I wouldn't like 
that," said the old lady. " I wouldn't like to live where 
niggers was free, they are bad enough when they are slaves : 
it's hard enough to get along with them here, they're so bad. 
I reckon that niggers are the meanest critters on earth ; they 
are so mean and nasty " (she expressed disgust and indigna- 
tion very strongly in her face). " If they was to think them- 
selves equal to we, I don't think white folks could abide it — ■ 
they're such vile saucy things." 'A negro woman and two 
boys were in the room, as she said this. 

North Carolina, July 13th. — I rode late last night, there 
VOL. II. K 



130 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

being no cabins for several miles in which I was willing to 
spend the night, until I came to one of larger size than 
usual, with a gallery on the side toward the road and a good 
stable opposite it. A man on the gallery was about to answer 
(as I judged from his countenance), " I reckon you can," to 
my inquiry if I could stay, when the cracked voice of a 
worryful woman screeched out from within, " We don't foller 
takin' in people." 

" No, sir," said the man, "we don't foller it." 

" How far shall I have to go ?" 

" There's another house a little better than three quarters of 
a mile further on." 

To this house I proceeded — a cabin of one room and a loft, 
with a kitchen in a separate cabin. The owner said he never 
turned anybody away, and I was welcome. He did not say 
that he had no corn, until after supper, when I asked for it 
to feed my horse. The family were good-natured, intelligent 
people, but very ignorant. The man and his wife and the 
daughters slept below, the boy and I in the cock-loft. Supper 
and breakfast were eaten in the detached kitchen. Yet they 
were by no means poor people. The man told me that he 
had over a thousand acres of rich tillable land, besides a large 
extent of mountain range, the most of which latter he had 
bought from time to time as he was able, to prevent the 
settlement of squatters near his valley-land. " There were 
people who would be bad neighbours, I knew," he said, " that 
would settle on most any kind of place, and everybody wants 
to keep such as far away from them as they can." (When I 
took my bridle off, I hung it up by the stable-door ; he took 
it down and said he'd hang it in a safer place. " He'd never 
had anything stolen from here, and he didn't mean to have — 
it was just as well not to put temptation before people," and 
he took it into the house and put it under his bed.) 



THE HIGHLANDERS. 131 

Besides this large tract of land here, he owned another 
tract of two hundred acres with a house upon it, rented for 
one-third the produce, and another smaller farm, similarly 
rented ; he also owned a grist mill, which he rented to a 
miller for half the tolls. He told me that ho had thought a 
good deal formerly of moving to new countries, but he had 
been doing pretty well and had stayed here now so long, he 
didn't much think he should ever budge. He reckoned he'd 
got enough to make him a living for the rest of his life, and 
he didn't know any use a man had for more'n that. 

I did not see a single book in the house, nor do I think 
that any of the family could read. He said that many people 
here were talking about Iowa and Indiana; "was Iowa 
(Hiaway) beyond the Texies ?" I opened my map to show 
him where it was, but he said he "wasn't scollar'd enough'' 
to understand it, and I could not induce him to look at it. I 
asked him if the people here preferred Iowa and Indiana to 
Missouri at all because they were Free States. " I reckon," 
he replied, " they don't have no allusion to that. Slavery is 
a great cuss, though, I think, the greatest there is in these 
United States. There ain't no account of slaves up here in 
the west, but down in the east part of this State about 
Fayetteville there's as many as there is in South Carolina. 
That's the reason the "West and the East don't agree in this 
State ; people out here hates the Eastern people." 

" Why is that ?" 

" Why you see they vote on the slave basis, and there's 
some of them nigger counties where there ain't more'n four or 
five hundred white folks, that has just as much power in the 
Legislature as any of our mountain counties where there'll be 
some thousand voters." 

He made further remarks against slavery and against slave- 
holders. When I told him that I entirely agreed with him, 

k 2 



132 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

and said further, that poor white people were usually far 
better off in the Free than in the Slave States, he seemed a 
little surprised and said, " New York ain't a Free State, is it ?" 

Labourers' wages here, he stated, were from fifty cents to 
one dollar a clay, or eight dollars a month.. " How much by 
the year ?" " They's never hired by the year." 

" Would it be g 75 a year ?" 

" 'Twouldn't be over that, anyhow, but 'tain't general 
for people to hire here only for harvest time ; fact is, a man 
couldn't earn his board, let alone his wages, for six months 
in the year." 

" But what do these men who hire out during harvest time 
do during the rest of the year ; do they have to earn enough 
in those two or three months to live on for the other eight or 
nine ?" 

" Well, they gets jobs sometimes, and they goes from one 
place to another." 

"But in winter time, when you say there's not work 
enough to pay their board ?" 

" Well, they keeps a goin' round from one place to another, 
and gets their living somehow." 

" The fact on't is," he said at length, as I pressed the 
inquiry, " there ain't anybody that ever means to work any 
in this country, except just along in harvest — folks don't keep 
working here as they do in your country, I expect." 

" But they must put in their crops ?" 

" Yes, folks that have farms of their own, they do put in 
their craps and tend 'em, but these fellows that don't have 
farms, they won't work except in harvest, when they can get 
high wages [ g8 a month]. I hired a fellow last spring for 
six months ; I wanted him to help me plant and tend my corn. 
You see I had a short crap last year, and this spring I had 
to pay fifty cents a bushel for com for bread, and I didn't 



THE HIGHLANDERS. 133 

want to get caught so again, not this year, so I gin this fellow 
g 6 a month for six months — & 36 I gin him in hard silver." 

" Paid it to him in advance ?" 

" Yes, he wouldn't come 'less I'd pay him right then. 
Well, he worked one month, and maybe eight days — no, I 
don't think it was more than six days over a month, and then 
he went away, and I hain't seen a sight on him since. I 
expect I shall lose my money — reckon he don't ever intend to 
come back ; he knows I'm right in harvest, and want him 
now, if ever I do." 

" What did he go away for ?" 

"Why, he said he was sick, but if he was, he got well 
mighty easy after he stopped working." 

" Do you know where he is now ?" 

" Oh, yes, he's going round here." 

" What is he doing ?" 

" Well, he's just goin' round." 

" Is he at work for any one else ?" 

" Eeckon not — no, he's just goin' round from one place to 
another." 

At supper and breakfast surprise was expressed that I 
declined coffee, and more still that I drank water instead of 
milk. The woman observed, " 'twas cheap boarding me." 
The man said he must get home a couple more cows ; they 
ought to drink milk more, coffee was so high now, and he 
believed milk would be just as healthy. The woman asked 
the price of coffee in New York ; I could not tell her, but said 
I believed it was uncommonly high ; the crops had been 
short. She asked how coffee grew. ' I told her as well as I 
was able, but concluded by saying I had never seen it grow- 
ing. " Don't you raise coffee in New York ?" she asked ; 
" I thought that was where it came from." 

The butter was excellent. I said so, and asked if they 



134 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

never made any for sale. The woman said she could make 
" as good butter as any ever was made in the yarth, but she 
couldn't get anything for it ; there warn't many of the mer- 
chants would buy it, and those that did, would only take it at 
eight cents a pound for goods." The man said the only 
thing he could ever sell for ready money was cattle. Drovers 
bought them for the New York market, and lately they were 
very high — four cents a pound. He had driven cattle all the 
way to Charleston himself, to sell them, and only got four 
cents a pound there. He had sold corn here for twelve and 
a half cents a bushel. 

Although the man could not read, he had honoured letters 
by calling one of his children " Washington Irving;" another 
was known as Matterson (Madison ?) . He had never tried 
manuring land for crops, but said, " I do believe it is a good 
plan, and if I live I mean to try it sometime." 

July 16th. — I stopped last night at the pleasantest house 
I have yet seen in the highlands ; a framed house, painted 
white, with a log kitchen attached. The owner was a man 
of superior standing. I judged from the public documents 
and law books on his table, that he had either been hi the 
Legislature of the State, or that he was a justice of the peace. 
There were also a good many other books and newspapers, 
chiefly of a religious character. He used, however, some 
singularly uncouth phrases common here. He had a store, 
and carried on farming and stock raising. After a conversa- 
tion about his agriculture, I remarked that there were but 
few slaves in this part of the country. He wished that there 
were fewer. They were not profitable property here, I pre- 
sumed. They were not, he said, except to raise for sale ; 
but there were a good many people here who would not 1 ave 
them if they were profitable, and yet who were abundantly 



THE HIGHLANDERS. 135 

able to buy theni. They were horrid things, he thought ; he 
would not take one to keep it if it should be given to him. 
'T would be a great deal better for the country, he believed, if 
there was not a slave in it. He supposed it would not be 
right to take them away from those who had acquired pro- 
perty in them, without any remuneration, but he wished they 
could all be sent out of the country — sent to Liberia. That 
was what ought to be done with them. I said it was evident 
that where there were no slaves, other things being equal, 
there was greater prosperity than where slavery supplied the 
labour. He didn't care so much for that, he said ; there was 
a greater objection to slavery than that, in his mind. He was 
afraid that there was many a man who had gone to the bad 
world, who wouldn't have gone there if he hadn't had any 
slaves. He had been down in the nigger counties a good 
deal, and he had seen how it worked on the white people. 
It made the rich people, who owned the niggers, passionate 
and proud, and ugly, and it made the poor people mean. 
" People that own niggers are always mad with them about 
something ; half their time is spent in swearing and yelling 
at them." 

"I see you have ( Uncle Tom's Cabin ' here," said I ; 
" have you read it ?" 

" Oh, yes." 

" And what do you think of it ?" 

" Think of it ? I think well of it." 

" Do most of the people here in the mountains think as 
you do about slavery ?" 

" Well, there's some thinks one way and some another, but 
there's hardly any one here that don't think slavery's a curse 
to our country, or who wouldn't be glad to get rid of it." 

I asked what the people about here thought of the Ne- 
braska Bill. He couldn't say what the majority thought. 



136 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

"Would people moving from here to Nebraska now, be likely 
to vote for tbe admission of slavery there ? He thought not ; 
" most people would much rather live in a Free State." He 
told me that he knew personally several persons who had 
gone to California, and taken slaves with them, who had not 
been able to bring them back. There were one or two cases 
where the negroes had been induced to return, and these 
instances had been made much of in the papers, as evidence 
that the slaves were contented. 

" That's a great he," he said ; " they are not content, and 
nine-tenths of 'em would do 'most anything to be free. Itis 
only now and then that slaves, who are treated unusual kind, 
and made a great deal of, will choose to remain in slavery 
if freedom is put in their way." He knew one man (giving 
his name) who tried to bring two slaves back from California, 
and had got started with them, when some white people sus- 
pecting it, went on board the ship and told him it was against 
the law to hold negroes as slaves in California, and his ne- 
groes shouldn't go back with him unless they were willing to. 
Then they went to the slaves and told them they need not 
return if they preferred to stay, and the slaves said they had 
wanted very much to go back to North Carolina, yet they 
would rather remain in California, if they could be free, and 
so they took them ashore. He had heard the slave owner 
himself relating this, and cursing the men who interfered. 
He had told him that they did no more than Christians were 
obliged to do. 

I overtook upon the road, to-day, three young men of the 
poorest class. Speaking of the price of land and the profit of 
farming, one of them said, believing me to be a southerner — 

" We are all poor folks here ; don't hardly make enough to 
keep us in liquor. Anybody can raise as much corn and hogs 
on the mountains as he'll want to live on, but there ain't no 



THE HIGHLANDERS. 137 

rich people here. Nobody's got any black ones — only three or 
four ; no one's got fifty or a hundred, like as they have down 
in the East." " It would be better," interrupted another, 
somewhat fiercely, " there warn't any at all ; that's my mind 
about it ; they're no business here ; they ought to be in their 
own country and take care of themselves, that's . what I 
believe, and I don't care who hears it."' But let the reader 
not be deceived by these expressions ; they indicate simply 
the weakness and cowardice of the class represented by 
these men. It is not slavery they detest ; it is simply the 
negro competition, and the monopoly of the opportunities to 
make money by negro owners, which they feel and but dimly 
comprehend. 

If you meet a man without stopping, the salutation here 
always is, " How d'ye do, sir ?" never " Good morning ;" 
and on parting it is, "I wish you well, sir," more frequently 
than " Good-bye." You are always commanded to appear at 
the table, as elsewhere throughout the South, in a rough, 
peremptory tone, as if your host feared you would try to 
excuse yourself. 

" Come hi to supper." " Take a seat." " Some of the fry ?" 
" Help yourself to anything you see that you can eat." 

They ask your name, but do not often call you by it, but 
hail you " Stranger," or " Friend." 

Texas is always spoken of in the plural — " the Texies." 
" Bean't the Texies powerful sickly ?" 

" 111 " is used for " vicious." " Is your horse ill ?" " Not 
that I am aware of. Does he appear so ?" " No ; but some 
horses will bite a stranger if he goes to handling on 'em." 

" Is your horse ill ?" " No, I believe not." " I see he 
kind o' drapt his ears when I came up, 'zif he was playful." 

Everybody I've met in the last three counties — after ascer- 



138 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

taming what parts I came from, and which parts I'm going 
to, where I got my horse, what he cost, and of what breed he 
is, what breed the dog is, and whether she's followed me all 
the way from the Texies, if her feet ain't worn out, and if I 
don't think I'll have to tote her if I go much farther, and if I 
don't want to give her away, how I like the Texies, etc. — has 
asked me whether I didn't see a man by the name of Baker in 

the Texies, who was sheriff of county, and didn't 

behave exactly the gentleman, or another fellow by the name 

of , who ran away from the same county, and cut to 

the Texies. I've been asked if they had done fighting yet in 
the Texies, referring to the war with Mexico, which was 
ended ten years ago. Indeed the ignorance with regard to 
everything transpiring in the world outside, and the absurd 
ideas and reports I hear, are quite incredible. It cannot be sup- 
posed that having been at home in New York, there should be 
any one there whom I do not personally know, or that, having 
passed through Texas, I should be unable to speak from per- 
sonal knowledge of the welfare of every one in that State. 

North-eastern Tennessee, . — Night before last I spent 

at the residence of a man who had six slaves ; last night, at 
the home of a farmer without slaves. Both houses were of 
the best class common in this region ; two-story framed 
buildings, large, and with many beds, to accommodate 
drovers and waggoners, who, at some seasons, fill the houses 
which are known to be prepared with stabling, corn, and beds 
for them. The slaveholder was much the wealthier of the 
two, and his house originally was the finer, but he lived in 
much less comfort than the other. His house was in great 
need of repair, and was much disordered ; it was dirty, and 
the bed given me to sleep in was disgusting. He and his 
wife made the signs of pious people, but were very morose 



THE HIGHLANDERS. 139 

or sadly silent, when not scolding and re-ordering their 
servants. Their son, a boy of twelve, was alternately crying 
and bullying his mother all the evening till bed-time, because 
his father had refused to give him something that he wanted. 
He slept in the same room with me, but did not come to bed 
until after I had once been asleep, and then he brought 
another boy to sleep with him. He left the candle burning 
on the floor, and when, in five minutes after he had got into 
bed, a girl came after it, he cursed her with a shocking volu- 
bility of filthy blackguardism, demanding why she had not 
come sooner. She replied gently and entreatingly, " I didn't 
think you 'd have more 'n got into bed yet, master John." 
The boys were talking and whispering obscenity till I fell 
asleep again. The white women of the house were very 
negligent and sluttish in their attire ; the food at the table 
badly cooked, and badly served by negroes. 

The house of the farmer without slaves, though not in 
good repair, was much neater, and everything within was 
well-ordered and unusually comfortable. The women and 
girls were clean and neatly dressed ; every one was cheerful 
and kind. There was no servant. The table was abundantly 
supplied with the most wholesome food — I might almost say 
the first wholesome food — I have had set before me since I 
was at the hotel at Natchez ; loaf bread for the first time ; 
chickens, stewed instead of fried ; potatoes without fat ; two 
sorts of simple preserved fruit, and whortleberry and black- 
berry tarts. (The first time I have had any of these articles 
at a private house since I was in Western Texas.) All the 
work, both within and without the house, was carried on 
regularly and easily, and it was well done, because done by 
parties interested in the result, not by servants interested 
only to escape reproof or punishment. 

Doubtless two extreme cases were thus brought together, 



140 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

but similar, if less striking, contrasts are found the general 
rule, according to my experience. It is a common saying 
with the drovers and waggoners of this country, that if you 
wish to be well taken care of, you must not stop at houses 
where they have slaves. 

The man of the last described house was intelligent and an 
ardent Methodist. The room in which I slept was papered 
with the " Christian Advocate and Journal," the Methodist 
paper of New York.* At the slaveholder's house, my bed- 
room was partially papered with " Lottery Schemes." 

The free labouring farmer remarked, that, although there 
were few slaves in this part of the country, he had often 
said to his wife that he would rather be living where there 
were none. He thought slavery wrong in itself, and deplorable 
in its effects upon the white people. Of all the Methodists 
whom he knew in North-eastern Tennessee and South-western 
Virginia, he believed that fully three fourths would be glad 
to join the Methodist Church North, if it were " convenient." 
They generally thought slavery wrong, and believed it the 
duty of the church to favour measures to bring it to an end. 
He was not an Abolitionist, he said ; he didn't think slaves 
could be set free at once, but they ought to be sent back to 
their own country, and while they were here they ought to 
be educated. He had perceived that great injustice was done 
by the people both of the North and South, towards each 
other. At the South, people were very apt to believe that 

* Religion in Virginia. — A mass meeting of citizens of Taylor county, 
Virginia, was held at Boothesville recently, at which the following, among other 
resolutions, was passed unanimously : 

" That the five Christian Advocates, published in the cities of New York, 
Pittsburg, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Chicago, having become Abolition sheets of 
the rankest character, we ask our commonwealth's attorneys and post-masters to 
examine them, and, if found to be of an unlawful character, to deal with them and 
their agents as the laws of our State direct." — Washington Eepublic. 



THE HIGHLANDERS. 141 

the Northerners were wanting not only to deprive them of 
their property, but also to incite the slaves to barbarity and 
murder. At the North, people thought that the negroes 
were all very inhumanely treated. That was not the case, at 
least hereabouts, it wasn't. If I would go with him to a 
camp meeting here, or to one of the common Sunday meetings, 
I would see that the negroes were generally better dressed 
than the whites. He believed that they were always well 
fed, and they were not punished severely. They did not 
work hard, not nearly as hard as many of the white folks ; 
they were fat and cheerful. I said that I had perceived this, 
and it was so generally, to a great degree, throughout the 
country ; yet I was sure that on the large plantations it was 
necessary to treat the slaves with great severity. He " ex- 
pected " it was so, for he had heard people say, who had been 
on the great rice and cotton plantations in South Carolina, 
that the negroes were treated very hard, and he knew there 
was a man clown here on the railroad, a contractor, who had 
some sixty hands which he had hired in Old Virginny 
(" that's what we call Eastern Virginia here"), and everybody 
who saw them at work, said he drove them till they could 
hardly stand, and did not give them half what they ought to 
have to eat. He was opposed to the Nebraska Bill, he said, 
and to any further extension of slavery, on any pretext ; the 
North would not do its Christian duty if it allowed slavery to 
be extended ; he wished that it could be abolished in Ten- 
nessee. He thought that many of the people who went 
hence to Kansas would vote to exclude slavery, but he wasn't 
sure that they would do it generally, because they would 
consider themselves Southerners, and would not like to go 
against other Southerners. A large part of the emigration 
from this part of the country went to Indiana, Illinois, and 
Iowa ; those States being preferred to Missouri, because they 



142 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

were Free States. There were fewer slaves hereabouts now, 
than there were when he was a boy. The people all thought 
slavery wrong, except, he supposed, some slaveholders who, 
because they had property in slaves, would try to make out 
to themselves that it was right. Be knew one rich man who 
had owned a great many slaves. He thought slavery was 
wrong, and he had a family of boys growing up, and he knew 
they wouldn't be good for anything as long as he brought them 
up with slaves ; so he had told his slaves that if they wanetd 
to be free, he would free them, send them to Liberia, and 
give them a hundred dollars to start with, and they had all 
accepted the offer. He himself never owned a slave, and 
never would own one for his own benefit, if it were given to 
him, "first, because it was wrong; and secondly, because he 
didn't think they ever did a man much good." 

I noticed that the neighbours of this man on each side 
owned slaves ; and that their houses and establishments were 
much poorer than his. 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 143 



CHAPTEE IV. 

THE EXCEPTIONAL LARGE PLANTERS. 

Feliciana* — A deep notch of sadness marks in my me- 
mory the morning of the May day on which I rode out of the 
chattering little town of Bayou Sara, and I recollect little of 
its immediate suburbs but the sympathetic cloud-shadows 
slowly going before me over the hill of St. Francis. At 
the top is an old French hamlet. 

One from among the gloomy, staring loungers at the door of 
the tavern, as I pass, throws himself upon a horse, and over- 
taking me, checks his pace to keep by my side. I turn 
towards him, and being full of aversion for the companionship 
of a stranger, nod, in such a manner as to say, " Your equaility 
is acknowledged ; go on." Not a nod ; not the slightest de- 
flection of a single line in the austere countenance; not a 
ripple of radiance in the sullen eyes, which wander slowly 
over, and, at distinct intervals, examine my horse, my saddle- 
bags, my spurs, lariat, gloves, finally my face, with such 
stern deliberation that, at last, I should not be sorry if he 
would speak. But he does not ; does not make the smallest 
response to the further turning of my head, which acknow- 

* " This latter received its beautiful and expressive name from its beautifully- 
variegated surface of hills and valleys, and its rare combination of all the qualities 
that are most desired in a planting country. It is a region of almost fairy beauty 
and wealth. Here are some of the wealthiest and most intelligent planters and 
the finest plantations in the State, the region of princely taste and more than 
patriarchal hospitality," etc. — Norman's New Orleans. 



144 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

ledges the reflex interest in my own mind ; his eyes rest as 
fixedly upon me as if they were a dead man's. I can, at length, 
no longer endure this in silence, so I ask, in a voice attuned 
to his apparent humour — 

" How far to Woodville ?" 

The only reply is a slight grunt, with an elevation of the 
chin. 

" You don't know ?" 

"No." 

" Never been there." 

"No." 

" I can ride there before night, I suppose ?" 

No reply. 

"ood walker, your horse ?" 

Not a nod. 

" I thought mine pretty good." 

Not a sneer, or a gleam of vanity, and Belshazzar and I 
warmed up together. Scott's man of leather occurred to my 
mind, and I felt sure that I could guess my man's chord. 
Cotton ! I touched it, and in a moment he became animated, 
civil ; hospitable even. I was immediately informed that this 
was a famous cotton region : " when it was first settled up by 
'Mericans, used to be reckoned the gardying of the world. 
The almightiest rich sile God Almighty ever shuck down. 
All on't owned by big-bugs." Finally he confided to me that 
he was an overseer for one of them, " one of the biggest sort." 
This greatest of the local hemipteras was not now on his 
plantation, but had " gone North to Paris or Saratogy, or 
some of them places." 

Wearing no waistcoat, the overseer carried a pistol, with- 
out a thought of concealment, in the fob of his trousers. 
The distance to Woodville, which, after he had exhausted his 
subject of cotton, I tried again to ascertain, he did not know, and 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 1 4: 3 

would not attempt to guess. The ignorance of the more bru- 
talized slaves is often described by saying of them that t.b.ey 
cannot count above twenty. 1 find many of the whites but 
little more intelligent. At all events, it is rarely that you 
meet, in the plantation districts, a man, whether white or 
black, who can give you any clear information about the roads, 
or the distances between places in his own vicinity. While 
in or near Bayou Sara and St. Francisville, I asked, at diffe- 
rent times, ten men, black and white, the distance to Wood- 
ville (the next town to the northward on the map). None 
answered with any appearance of certainty, and those who 
ventured to give an opinion, differed in their estimates as much 
as ten miles. I found the actual distance to be, I think, about 
twenty-four miles. After riding by my side for a mile or two 
the overseer suddenly turned off at a fork hi the road, with 
hardly more ceremony than he had used in joining me. 

For some miles about St. Francisville the landscape has an 
open, suburban character, with residences indicative of rapidly 
accumulating wealth, and advancement in luxury, or careless 
expenditure, among the proprietors. For twenty miles to the 
north of the town, there is on both sides a succession of large 
sugar and cotton plantations. Much land still remains un- 
cultivated, however. The roadside fences are generally hedges 
of roses — Cherokee and sweet brier. These are planted first 
by the side of a common rail fence, which, while they are 
young, supports them in the manner of a trellis ; as they 
grow older they fall each way, and mat together, finally form- 
ing a confused, sprawling, slovenly thicket, often ten feet in 
breadth and four to six feet high. Trumpet creepers, grape- 
vines, green-briers, and in very rich soil, cane, grow up 
through the mat of roses, and add to its strength. It is not 
as pretty as a more upright hedge, yet very agreeable, and, 
at one or two points, where the road was narrow, deep, and 

VOL. II. L 



146 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

lane like, delightful memories of England were brought to 
mind. 

There were frequent groves of magnolia grandiflora, large 
trees, and every one in the glory of full blossom. The mag- 
nolia does not, however, mass well, and the road-side woods 
were much finer, where the beech, elm, and liquid amber 
formed the body, and the magnolias stood out against them, 
magnificent chandeliers of fragrance. The 'large-leaved mag- 
nolia, very beautiful at this season, was more rarely seen. 

The soil seems generally rich, though much washed off the 
higher ground. The ploughing is directed with some care not 
to favour this process. Young pine trees, however, and other 
indications of rapid impoverishment, are seen on many plan- 
tations. 

The soil is a sandy loam, so friable that the negroes always 
working in large gangs, superintended by a driver with a 
whip, continued their hoeing in the midst of quite smart 
showers, and when the road had become a poaching mud. 

Only once did I see a gang which had been allowed to dis- 
continue its work on account of the rain. This was after a 
heavy thunder shower, and the appearance of the negroes 
whom I met crossing the road in returning to the field, from 
the gin-house to which they had retreated, was remarkable. 
First came, led by an old driver carrying a whip, forty of the 
largest and strongest women I ever saw together ; they were 
all hi a simple ivniforni dress of a bluish check stuff, the skirts 
reaching little below the knee ; their legs and feet were 
bare ; they carried themselves loftily, each having a hoe over 
the shoulder, and walking with a free, powerful swing. 
Behind them came the cavalry, thirty strong, mostly men, 
but a few of them women, two of whom rode astride on the 
plough mules. A lean and vigilant white overseer, on a brisk 
pony, brought up the rear. The men wore small blue Scotch 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 147 

bonnets ; many of the women, handkerchiefs, turban fashion, 
and a few nothing at all on their heads. They were evidently 
a picked lot. I thought that every one would pass for a 
" prime " cotton hand. 

The slaves generally of this district appear uncommonly 
well — doubtless, chiefly, because the large incomes of their 
owners enables them to select the best from the yearly expor- 
tations of Virginia and Kentucky, but also because they are 
systematically well feci. 

The plantation residences were of a cottage class, sometimes, 
bufenot usually, with extensive and tasteful grounds about them. 

An old gentleman, sensible, polite, and communicative, who 
rode a short distance with me, said that many of the proprietors 
were absentees — some of the plantations had dwellings only 
for the negroes and the overseer. He called my attention to 
a field of cotton which, he said, had been ruined by his over- 
seer's neglect. The negroes had been allowed at a critical 
time to be careless in then hoeing, and it would now be im- 
possible to recover the ground then lost. Grass grew so ram- 
pantly in this black soil, that if it once got a good start ahead, 
you could never overtake it. That was the devil of a rainy 
season. Cotton could stand drouth better than it could grass.* 

* " Fine Prospect for Hav. — While riding by a field the other day, which 
looked as rich and green as a New England meadow, we observed to a man sitting 
on the fence, ' You have a*fme prospect for ha)', neighbour.' ' Hay ! that's cotton. 
sir,' said he, with an emotion that betrayed an excitement which we cared to pro, 
voke no further ; for we had as soon sport with a rattlesnake in the blind days of 
August as a farmer at this season of the year, badly in the grass. * * * 

" All jesting aside, we have never known so poor a prospect for cotton in this 
legion. In some instances the fields are clean and well worked, but the cotton is 
diminutive in size and sickly in appearance. We have seen some fields so foul that 
it was almost impossible to tell what had been planted. 

" All this backwardness is attributable to the cold, wet weather that we have 
had almost constantly since the planting season commenced. When there was a 
warm spell, it was raining so that ploughs could not run to any advantage ; so » 
between the cold and the rain, the cotton crop is very unpromising. * * * 

L 2 



148 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

The inclosures are not often of less area than a hundred 
acres. Fewer than fifty negroes are seldom found on a plan- 
tation ; many muster by the hundred. In general the fields 
are remarkably free from weeds and well tilled. 

I arrived shortly after dusk at Woodville, a well-built and 
pleasant court-town, with a small but pretentious hotel. 
Court was in session, I fancy, for the house was filled with 
guests of somewhat remarkable character. The landlord was 
inattentive, and, when followed up, inclined to be uncivil. At 
the ordinary — supper and breakfast alike — there were twelve 
men beside myself, all of them wearing black cloth qpats 
black cravats, and satin or embroidered waistcoats ; all, too, 
sleek as if just from a hairdresser's, and redolent of perfumes, 
which really had the best of it with the exhalations of the 
kitchen. Perhaps it was because I was not in the regulation 
dress that I found no one ready to converse with me, and 
could obtain not the slightest information about my road, even 
from the landlord. 

I might have left Woodville with more respect for this de- 
corum if I had not, when shown by a servant to my room, 
found two beds in it, each of which proved to be furnished 
with soiled sheets and greasy pillows, nor was it without 
reiterated demands and liberal cash in hand to the servant, 
that I succeeded in getting them changed on the one I 
selected. A gentleman of embroidered waistcoat took the 
other bed as it was, with no apparent reluctance, soon after 
I had effected my own arrangements. One wash-bowl, and 



" The low, flat lands this year have suffered particularly. Thoroughly satu- 
rated all the time, and often overflowed, the crops on them are small and sickly, 
while the weeds and grass are luxurious and rank. 

" A week or two of dry hot weather will make a wonderful change in our 
agricultural prospects, but we have no idea that any sort of seasons could bring 
the cotton to more than an average crop." — Hernando (JiYss.) Advance, 
June 22, 1854. 



THE VALLEY OP THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 149 

a towel which had aheady heen used, was expected to 
answer for both of us, and would have done so hut that I 
carried a private towel in nry saddle-bags. Another re- 
quirement of a civilized household was wanting, and its only 
substitute unavailable with decency. 

The bill was excessive, and the black ostler, who had left 
the mud of yesterday hanging all along the inside of Bel- 
shazzar's legs, and who had put the saddle on so awkwardly 
that I resaddled him myself after he had brought him to the 
door, grumbled, in presence of the landlord, at the smallness 
of the gratuity which I saw fit to give him. 

The country, for some distance north of Woodville, is the 
most uneven, for a non-mountainous region, I ever saw. 
The road seems well engineered, yet you are nearly all the 
time mounting or descending the sides of protuberances or 
basins, ribs or dykes. In one place it follows along the top 
of a crooked ridge, as steep -sided and regular for nearly a 
quarter of a mile, as a high railroad embankment. A man 
might jump off anywhere and land thirty feet below. The 
ground being too rough here for cultivation, the dense native 
forest remains intact. 

This ridge, a man told me, had been a famous place for 
robberies. It is not far from the Mississippi bottoms. 

" Thar couldn't be," said he, " a better location for a feller 
that wanted to f oiler that business. There was one chap 
there a spell ago, who built himself a cabin t'other side the 
river. He used to come over in a dug-out. He could 
paddle his dug-out up the swamp, you see, to within two mile 
of the ridge ; then, when he stopped a man, he'd run 
through the woods to his dug-out, and before the man could 
get help, he'd be t'other side the Mississippi, a sittin' in his 
housen as honest as you be." 



150 COTTON AKD SLAVERY. 

The same man had another story of the ridge : — 

" Mr. Allen up here caught a runaway once, and started 
to take hhn down to "Woodville to the jail. He put him in 
irons and carried him along in his waggin. The nigger was 
peaceable and submissive till they got along onto that yer 
ridge place. When they got thar, all of a sudden he gin a 
whop like, and over he went twenty foot plum down the 
side of the ridge. Tore Allen could stop his hoss he'd 
tumbled and rolled himself 'way out of sight. He started right 
away arter him, but he never cotched a sight on him again." 

Not far north of the ridge, plantations are found again, 
though the character of the surface changes but little. The 
hill-sides are carefully ploughed so that each furrow forms a 
contour line. After the first ploughing the same lines are 
followed in subsequent cultivation, year in and year out, as 
long as enough soil remains to grow cotton upon with profit. 
On the hills recently brought into cultivation, broad, serpen- 
tine ditches, having a fall of from two to four inches in a rod, 
have been frequently constructed : these are intended to pre- 
vent the formation of gullies leading more directly down the 
hill during heavy rains. But all these precautions are not 
fully successful, the cultivated hills, in spite of them, losing 
soil every year in a melancholy manner. 

I passed during the day four or five large plantations, the 
hill-sides worn, cleft, and channelled like icebergs ; stables and 
negro quarters all abandoned, and everything given up to 
nature and decay. 

In its natural state the virgin soil appears the richest I 
have ever seen, the growth upon it from weeds to trees being 
invariably rank and rich in colour. At first it is expected to 
bear a bale and a half of cotton to the acre, making eight or 
ten bales for each able field-hand*. But from the cause de- 
scribed its productiveness rapidly decreases. 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 151 

Originally, much of this country was covered by a natural 
growth of cane, and by various nutritious grasses. A good 
northern farmer would deem it a crying shame and sin to 
attempt to grow any crops upon such steep slopes, except 
grasses or shrubs which do not require tillage. The waste of 
soil which attends the practice is much greater than it would 
be at the North, and, notwithstanding the unappeasable 
demand of the world for cotton, its bad economy, considering 
the subject nationally, cannot be doubted. 

If these slopes were thrown into permanent terraces, with 
turfed or stone-faced escarpments, the fertility of the soil 
might be preserved, even with constant tillage. In this way 
the hills would continue for ages to produce annual crops of 
greater value than those which are at present obtained from 
them at such destructive expense — from ten to twenty crops 
of cotton rendering them absolute deserts. But with negroes 
at fourteen hundred dollars a head, and fresh land in Texas at 
half a dollar an acre, nothing of this sort can be thought of. 
The time will probably come when the soil now washing into 
the adjoining swamps will be brought back by our descend- 
ants, perhaps on their heads, in pots and baskets, hi the 
manner Hue describes in China, — and which may be seen 
also in the Rhenish vineyards,— to be relaid on these sunny 
slopes, to grow the luxurious cotton in. 

The plantations are all large, but, except in their size and 
rather unusually good tillage, display few signs of wealthy 
proprietorship. The greater number have but small and 
mean residences upon them. No poor white people live upon 
the road, nor in all this country of rich soils are they seen 
except en voyage. In a distance of seventy-five miles I saw 
no houses without negro-cabins attached, and I calculated 
that there were fifty slaves, on an average, to every white 
family resident in the country under my view. (There is a 



152 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

small sandy region about Woodville, which I passed through 
after nightfall, and which, of course, my note does not 
include.) 

I called in the afternoon, at a house, almost the only one 
I had seen during the day which did not appear to he the 
residence of a planter or overseer, to obtain lodging. No one 
was at home but a negro woman and children. The woman 
said that her master never took in strangers ; there was a 
man a few miles further on who did ; it was the only place 
she knew at which I was likely to " get in." 

I found the place : probably the proprietor was the poorest 
white man whose house I had passed during the day, but he 
had several slaves ; one of them, at least, a very superior man, 
worth fully g 2,000. 

Just before me, another traveller, a Mr. S., from beyond 
Natchez, had arrived. Learning that I was from Texas, he 
immediately addressed me with volubility. 

" Ah ! then you can tell us something about it, and I would 
be obliged to you if you would. Been out west about 
Antonio ? Ranchering's a good business, eh, out west there ? 
Isn't it ? Make thirty per cent, by it, eh ? I hear so. 
Should think that would be a good business. How much 
capital ought a man to have to go into ranchering, good, eh ? 
So as to make it a good business ?" 

He was a middle-aged, well-dressed man, devouring tobacco 
prodigiously ; nervous and wavering in his manner ; asking 
questions, a dozen at a breath, and paying no heed to the 
answers. He owned a plantation in the bottoms, and another 
on the upland ; the latter was getting worn out, it was too 
unhealthy for him to live in the bottoms, and so, as he said, 
he had had " a good notion to go into ranchering. Just for 
ease and pleasure." 

" Fact is, though, I've got a family, and this is no country 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 153 

for children to be raised in. All the children get such 
foolish notions. I don't want my children to be brought up 
here. Ruins everybody. Does sir, sure. Spoils 'em. Too 
bad. "lis so. Too bad. Can't make anything of children 
here, sir. Can't sir. Fact." 

He had been nearly persuaded to purchase a large tract of 
land at a point upon a certain creek where, he had been told, 
was a large court-house, an excellent school, etc. The waters 
of the creek he named are brackish, the neighbouring 
country is a desert, and the only inhabitants, savages. Some 
knavish speculator had nearly got a customer, but could not 
quite prevail on him to purchase until he examined the 
country personally, which it was his intention soon to do. He 
gave me no time to tell him how false was the account he 
had had, but went on, after describing its beauties and ad- 
vantages — 

"But negro property isn't very secure there, I'm told. 
How is't ? Know ?" 

" Not at all secure, sir ; if it is disposed to go, it will go : 
the only way you could keep it would be to make it always 
contented to remain. The road would always be open to 
Mexico ; it would go when it liked." 

"So I hear. Only way is, to have young ones there and 
keep their mothers here, eh ? Negroes have such attach- 
ments, you know. Don't you think that would fix 'em, eh ? 
No ? No, I suppose not. If they got mad at anything, 
they'd forget then mothers, eh ? Yes, I suppose they would. 
Can't depend on niggers. But I reckon they'd come back. 
Only to be worse off in Mexico — eh ?" 

" Nothing but " 

" Being free, eh ? Get tired of that, I should think. 
Nobody to take care of them. No, I suppose not. Learn to 
take care of themselves." 



154 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

Then he turned to our host and began to ask him about his 
neighbours, many of whom he had known when he was a boy, 
and been at school with. A sorry account he got of most. 
Generally they had run through their property ; their lands 
had passed into new hands ; their negroes had been disposed 
of; two were now, he thought, "strikers" for gamblers in 
Natchez. 

" What is a striker ?" I asked the landlord at the first 
opportunity. 

" Oh ! to rope in fat fellows for the gamblers ; they don't 
do that themselves, but get somebody else. I don't know as 
it is so ; all I know is, they don't have no business, not till 
late at night ; they never stir out till late at night, and no- 
body knows how they live, and that's what I expect they do. 
Fellows that come into town flush, you know — sold out their 
cotton and are flush — they always think they must see every- 
thing, and try their hands at everything — they get hold of 
'em and bring 'em in to the gamblers, and get 'em tight for 
'em, you know." 

" How's got along since his father died ?" asked 

Mr. S. 

" Well, 's been unfortunate. Got mad with his over- 
seer; thought he was lazy and packed him off; then he 
undertook to oversee for himself, and he was unfortunate. 
Had two bad crops. Finally the sheriff took about half his 
niggers. He tried to work the plantation with the rest, but 
they was old, used-up hands, and he got mad that they would 
not work more, and tired o' seem' 'em, and 'fore the end of 
the year he sold 'em all." 

Another young man, whom he inquired about, had had his 
property managed for him by a relative till he came of age, 
and had been sent North to college. When he returned and 
got into his own hands, the first year he ran it in debt 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 155 

g 16,000. The income from it being greatly reduced under 
his management, he had put it back in the care of his relative, 
but continued to live upon it. "I see," continued our host, 
" every time any of their teams pass from town they fetch a 
barrel or a demijohn. There is a parcel of fellows, who, 
when they can't liquor anywhere else, always go to him." 

" But how did he manage to spend so much," I inquired, 
" the first year after his return, as you said, — in gambling ?" 

" Well, he gambled some, and run horses. He don't know 
anything about a horse, and, of course, he thinks he knows 
everything. Those fellows up at Natchez would sell him 
any kind of a tacky for four or five hundred dollars, and then 
after he'd had him a month, they'd ride out another and 
make a bet of five or six hundred dollars they'd beat him. 
Then he'd run with 'em, and of course he'd lose it." 

" But sixteen thousand dollars is a large sum of money to 
be worked off even in that way in a year," I observed. 

" Oh, he had plenty of other ways. He'd go into a bar- 
room, and get tight and commence to break things. They'd 
let him go on, and the next morning hand him a bill for a 
hundred dollars. He thinks that's a smart thing, and just 
laughs and pays it, and then treats all around again." 

By one and the other, many stories were then told of simi- 
lar follies of young men. Among the rest, this : — 

A certain man had, as was said to be the custom when 
running for office, given an order at a grocery for all to be 
" treated " who applied in his name. The grocer, after. the 
election, which resulted in the defeat of the treater, presented 
what was thought an exorbitant bill. He refused to pay it, 
and a lawsuit ensued. A gentleman in the witness box being 
asked if he thought it possible for the whole number of 
people taking part in the election to have consumed the 
quantity of liquor alleged, answered— 



156 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

" Moy -Goad ! Judge !" (reproachfully) : " Yes, sir ! Why, 
I've been charged for a hundred and fifty drinks 'fore break- 
fast, when I've stood treat, and I never thought 'o disputin' 
it." 

At supper, Mr. S., looking at the daughter of our host, 
said — 

" What a pretty girl that is. My dear, do you find any 
schools to go to, out here — eh ? I reckon not. This isn't the 
country for schools. There'll not he a school in Mississippi 
'fore long, I reckon. Nothing hut Institutes, eh ? Ha ! ha ! 
ha ! Institutes, humph ! Don't believe there's a school 
between this and Natchez, is there ?" 

"No, sir." 

" Of course there isn't."* 

" What sort of a country is it, then, between here and 
Natchez ?" I asked. " I should suppose it would be well 
settled." 

" Big plantations, sir. Nothing else. Aristocrats. Swell- 
heads, I call them, sir. Nothing but swell-heads, and you 
can't get a night's lodging, sir. Beyond the ferry, I'll be 
bound, a man might die on the road 'fore he'd get a lodging 
with one of them. Eh, Mr. N. ? So, isn't it ? ' Take a 
stranger in, and I'll clear you out !' That's the rule. That's 

* " Sectional excitement " had given a great impetus to educational projects in 
the South, and the Mississippi newspapers about this time contained numerous 
advertisements of a similar character to the following : 

"-Calhoun Institute — Foe Young Ladies; Macon, Noxubee County*, 
Mississippi. — W. R. Poindextek, A.M., Principal and Proprietor. — The above 
School, formerly known as the 'Magon Female Institute,' will be reopened on the 
fiist of October, 1855, with an entirely new corps of teachers from Principal down. 
Having purchased the property at public sale, and thus become sole proprietor, 
the Principal has determined to use all means he can now command, as well as 
he may realize for several years yet to come, in building, refitting and procuring 
such appurtenances as shall enable him to contribute his full quota, as a profes- 
sional man, to the progress of the great cause of - Southern Education.' " 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 157 

what they tell their overseers, eh ? Yes, sir ; just so inhos- 
pitable as that. Swell-heads ! Swell-heads, sir. Every 
plantation. Can't get a meal of victuals or a night's lodging 
from one of them, I don't suppose, not if your life depended 
on it. Can you, Mr. N. ?" 

" Well, I believe Mr. , his place is right on the road, 

and it's half way to the ferry, and I believe he tells his over- 
seer if a man comes and wants something to eat, he must 
give it to him, but he must not take any pay for it, because 
strangers must have something to eat. They start out of 
Natchez, thinking it's as 'tis in other countries ; that there's 
houses along, where they can get a meal, and so they don't 
provide for themselves, and when they get along about there, 
they are sometimes desperate hungry. Had to be something- 
done." 

" Do the planters not live themselves on their planta- 
tions ?" 

"Why, a good many of them has two or three plantations, 
but they don't often live on any of them." 

" Must have ice for their wine, you see," said Mr. S., " or 
they'd die. So they have to live in Natchez or New Orleans. 
A heap of them live in New Orleans." 

"And in summer they go up into Kentucky, do they not ? 
I've seen country houses there which were said to belong to 
cotton-planters from Mississippi." 

" No, sir. They go North. To New York, and Newport, 
and Saratoga, and Cape May, and Seneca Lake. Somewhere 
that they can display themselves mere than they do here. 
Kentucky is no place for that. That's the sort of people, sir, 
all the way from here to Natchez. And all round Natchez, 
too. And in all this section of country where there's good 
land. Good God ! I wouldn't have my children educated, sir, 
among them, not to have them as rich as Dr. , every one 



158 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

of them. You can know their children as far off as yon can 
see them. Young swell-heads ! You'll take note of 'em in 
Natchez. You can tell them by their walk. I noticed it 
yesterday at the Mansion House. They sort o' throw out 
their legs as if they hadn't got strength enough to lift 'em and 
put them down in any particular place. They do want so 
bad to look as if they weren't made of the same clay as the 
rest of God's creation." 

Some allowance is of course to be made for the splenetic 
temperament of this gentleman, but facts evidently afford 
some justification of his sarcasms. This is easily accounted 
for. The farce of the vulgar-rich has its foundation in 
Mississippi, as in New York and in Manchester, in the rapidity 
with which certain values have advanced, especially that of 
cotton, and, simultaneously, that of cotton lands and negroes.* 
Of course, there are men of refinement and cultivation among 
the rich planters of Mississippi, and many highly estimable 
and intelligent persons outside of the wealthy class, but the 
number of such is smaller in proportion to that of the im- 
moral, vulgar, and ignorant newly-rich, than in any other 
part of the United States. And herein is a radical difference 
between the social condition of this region and that of the 
sea-board slave States, where there are fewer wealthy families, 
but where among the few people of wealth, refinement and 
education are more general 

I asked how rich the sort of men were of whom he spoke. 

* As " A Southern Lawyer," writing for Harper's Weekly (Februaiy, 1859), 
observes : " The sudden acquisition of wealth in the cotton-growing region of the 
United States, in many instances by planters commencing with very limited 
means, is almost miraculous. Patient, industrious, frugal, and self-denying, 
nearly the entire amount of their cotton-crops is devoted to the increase of their 
capital. The result is, in a few years large estates, as if by magic, are accumu- 
lated. The fortunate proprietors then build fine houses, and surround themselves 
with comforts and luxuries to which they were strangers in their earlier years or 
care and toil." 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 159 

" Why, sir, from a hundred thousand to ten million." 

" Do you mean that between here and Natchez there are 
none worth less than a hundred thousand dollars ?" 

" No, sir, not beyond the ferry. Why, any sort of a plan- 
tation is worth a hundred thousand dollars. The niggers 
would sell for that." 

" How many negroes are there on these plantations ?" 

" From fifty to a hundred." 

" Never over one hundred ?" 

" No ; when they've increased to a hundred they always 
divide them ; stock another plantation. There are sometimes 
three or four plantations adjoining one another, with an 
overseer for each, belonging to the same man. But that 
isn't general. In general, they have to strike off for new 
land." 

" How many acres will a hand tend here ?" 

" About fifteen — ten of cotton, and five of corn ; some pre- 
tend to make them tend twenty." 

" And what is the usual crop ?" 

" A bale and a half to the acre on fresh land and in the 
bottom. From four to eight bales to a hand they generally 
get : sometimes ten and better, when they are lucky." 

" A bale and a half on fresh land ? How much on old ?" 

" Well, you can't tell. Depends on how much it's worn 
and what the season is so much. Old land, after a while, 
isn't worth bothering with." 

" Do most of these large planters who live so freely, antici- 
pate their crops as the sugar planters are said to — spend the 
money, I mean, before the crop is sold ?" 

" Yes, sir, and three and four crops ahead generally." 

" Are most of them the sons of rich men ? are they old 
estates ?" 

" No, sir : lots of them were overseers once." 



160 



COTTON AND SLAVERY. 



" Have you noticed -whether it is a fact that these 
large properties seldom continue long in the same family ? 
Do the grandsons of wealthy planters often become poor 
men ?" 

" Generally the sons do. Almost always their sons are 
fools, and soon go through with it." 

" If they don't kill themselves before their fathers die," 
said the other. 

" Yes. They drink hard and gamble, and of course that 
brings them into fights." 

This was while they were smoking on the gallery after 
supper. I walked to the stable to see how my horse was 
provided for, and took my notes of the conversation. When 
I returned they were talking of negroes who had died of 
yellow fever while confined in the jail at Natchez. Two of 
them were spoken of as having been thus " happily released," 
being under sentence of death, and unjustly so, in their 
opinion. 

A man living in this vicinity having taken a runaway while 
the fever was raging in the jail at Natchez, a physician ad- 
vised him not to send him there. He did not, and the negro 
escaped ; was some time afterward recaptured, and the owner 
having learned from him that he had been once before taken 
and not detained according to law, he made a journey to in- 
quire into the matter, and was very angry. He said, " When- 
ever you catch a nigger again, you send him to jail, no matter 
what's to be feared. If he dies in the jail, you are not re- 
sponsible. You've done your duty, and you can leave the 
rest to Providence." 

" That was right, too," said Mr. P. " Yes, he ought to a' 
minded the law. Then if he'd died in jail, he'd know 'twasn't 
his fault." 
■ Next morning, near the ferry house, I noticed a set of 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 161 

stocks, having holes for the head as well as the ankles ; they 
stood unsheltered and unshaded in the open road. 

I asked an old negro what it was. 

" Dat ting, massa ?" grinning ; " well, sah, we calls dat a 
ting to put black people, niggers, in, when dey misbehaves bad, 
and to put runaways in, sah. Heaps o' runaways, dis country, 
sah. Yes, sah, heaps on 'ern round here."* 

Mr. S. and I slept in the same room. I went to bed some 
time before him ; he sat up late, to smoke, he said. He woke 
me when he came in, by his efforts to barricade the door with 
our rather limited furniture. The room being small, and 
without a window, I expostulated. He acknowledged it would 
probably make us rather too warm, but he shouldn't feel safe 
if the door were left open. "You don't know," said he; 
" there may be runaways around." 

* The following is a characteristic newspaper item of this vicinity: — 

From the West Feliciana Whig. — "On Saturday last, a runaway negro was 
killed in the parish of East Baton Rouge, just below the line of this parish, under 
the following circumstances : Two citizens of Port Hudson, learning that a negro 
was at work on a flat boat, loading with sand, just below that place, who was 
suspected of being a runaway, went down in a skiff for the purpose of arresting 
him. 

"Having seized him and put him into the skiff they started back, but had not 
proceeded far when the negro, who had been at the oars, seized a hatchet and 
assaulted one of them, wounding him very seriously. A scuffle ensued, in which 
both parties fell overboard. They were both rescued by the citizen pulling to 
them with the skiff. Finding him so unmanageable, the negro was put ashore, 
and the parties returned to Port Hudson for arms and a pack of negro dog<, and 
started aa;ain with the intention to capture him. They soon got on his bail, and 
when found again he was standing at bay upon the outer edge of a large raft of 
drift wood, armed with a club and pistol. 

'•'In this position he bade defiance to men and dogs— knocking the latter into 
the water with his club, and resolutely threatening death to any man who 
approached him. Finding him obstinately determined not to surrender, one of his 
pursuers shot him. He fell at the third fire, and so determined was he not to be 
captured, that when an effort was made to rescue him from drowning he made 
battle with his club, and sunk waving his weapon in angry defiance at his 
pursuers. He refused to give the name of his owner." 

VOL. II. M 



162 COTTON AND SLAVEKY. 

He then drew two small revolvers, hitherto concealed under 
his clothing, and began to examine the caps. He was cer- 
tainly a nervous man, perhaps a madman. I suppose he saw 
some expression of this thought in my face, for he said, 
placing them so they could he easily taken up as he lay in 
bed, " Sometimes a man has a use for them when he least 
expects it. There was a gentleman on this road a few days 
ago. He was going to Natchez. He overtook a runaway, 
and he says to him, ' Bad company's better 'n none, boy, and 
I reckon I'll keep you along with me into Natchez.' The 
nigger appeared to be pleased to have company, and went 
along, talking with him, very well, till they came to a thicket 
place, about six miles from Natchez. Then he told him he 
reckoned he would not go any fmther with him. ' What ! 
you black rascal,' says he ; ' you mean you won't go in with 
me ? You step out and go straight ahead, and if you turn 
your face till you get into Natchez, I'll shoot you.' 'Aha! 
massa,' says the nigger, mighty good-natured, ' I reckon you 
'aint .got no shootin' irons ;' and he" bolted off into the thicket, 
and got away from him." 

At breakfast, Mr. S. came late. He bowed his head as he 
took his seat, and closed his eyes for a second or two ; then, 
withdrawing his quid of tobacco and throwing it in the fire- 
place, he looked round with a smile, and said : — 

" I always think it a good plan to thank the Lord for His 
mercies. I'm afraid some people'll think I'm a member of the 
church. I aint, and never was. Wish I was. I am a Son, 
though [of Temperance ?] Give me some water, girl. Coffee 
first. Never too soon for coffee. And never too late, I say. 
Wait for anything but coffee. These swell-heads drink their 
coffee after they've eaten all their dinner. I want it with 
dinner, eh ? Don't nothing taste good without coffee, I 
reckon." 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 103 

Before he left, he invited rne to visit his plantations, giving 
me careful directions to find them, and saying that if he 
should not have returned before I reached them, his wife and 
his overseer would give me every attention if I would tell 
them he told me to visit them. He said again, and in this 
connection, that he believed this was the most inhospitable 
country in the world, and asked, "as I had been a good deal 
of a traveller, didn't I think so myself ?" I answered that 
my experience was much too small to permit me to form an 
opinion so contrary to that generally held. 

If they had a reputation for hospitality, he said, it could 
only be among their own sort. They made great swell-head 
parties ; and when they were on their plantation places, they 
made it a point to have a great deal of company ; they would 
not have anything to do if they didn't. But they were all 
swell-heads, I might be sure ; they'd never ask anybody but 
a regular swell-head to see them. 

His own family, however, seemed not to be excluded from 
the swell-head society. 

Among numerous anecdotes illustrative of the folly of his 
neighbours, or his own prejudices and jealousy, I remember 
none which it would be proper to publish but the following : — 

"Do you remember a place you passed?" [describing the 
locality]. 

" Yes," said I ; "a pretty cottage with a large garden, 
with some statues or vases in it." 

" I think it likely. Got a foreign gardener, I expect. 
That's all the fashion with them. A nigger isn't good enough 
for them. Well, that belongs to Mr. A. J. Clayborn.[?] 
He's got to be a very rich man. I suppose he's got as many 
as five hundred people on all his places. lie went out to 
Europe a few years ago, and sometime after he came back, he 
came up to Natchez. I was there with my wife at the same 

m 2 



1G4 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

time, and as she and Mrs. Clay born came from the same 
section of country, and used to know each other when they 
were girls, she thought she must go and see her. Mrs. 
Ciayborn could not talk about anything but the great people 
they had seen in Europe. She was telling of some great 
nobleman's castle they went to, and the splendid park there 
was to it, and how grandly they lived. For her part, she 
admired it so much, and they made so many friends among 
the people of quality, she said, she didn't care if they always 
stayed there. In fact, she really wanted Mr. Ciayborn to buy 
one of the castles, and be a nobleman himself. ' But he 
wouldn't,' says she ; ' he's such a strong Democrat, you 
know.' Ha ! ha ! ha ! I wonder what old Tom Jeff, would 
have said to these swell-head Democrats." 

I asked him if there were no poor people in this country. 
I could see no houses which seemed to belong to poor people. 

" Of course not, sir. Every inch of the land bought up by 
the swell-heads on purpose to keep them away. But you go 
back on to the pine ridge. Good Lord ! I've heard a heap 
about the poor folks at the North ; but if you ever saw any 
poorer people than them, I should like to know what they 
live on. Must be a miracle if they live at all. I don't see 
how these people live, and I've wondered how they do a 
great many times. Don't raise corn enough, great many of 
them, to keep a shoat alive through the winter. There's no 
way they can live, 'less they steal." 

At the ferry of the Homochitto I fell in with a German, 
originally from Dusseldorf, whence he came seventeen years 
ago, first to New York ; afterward he had resided successively 
in Baltimore, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Pensacola, Mobile, 
and Natchez. By the time he reached the last place he had 
lost all his money. Going to work as a labourer in the town, 
he soon earned enough again to set him up as a trinket peddler ; 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. TG5 

and a few months afterward lie was able to buy "a leetlo 
coach-dray." Then, he said, he made money fast ; for he 
would go back into the country, among the poor people, and 
sell them trinkets, and calico, and handkerchiefs, and patent 
medicines. They never had any money. " All poor folks," 
he said ; " dam poor ; got no money ; oh no ; but I say, ' dat 
too bad, I don't like to balk you, my frind ; may be so, you 
got some egg, some fedder, some cheeken, some rag, some 
sass, or some skin vot you kill.' I takes dam dings vot they's 
got, and ven I gets my load I cums to Natchez back and sells 
dem, alvays dwo or dree times so much as dey coss me ; and 
den I buys some more goots. Not bad beesnes — no. Oh, 
dese poor people dey deenk me is von fool ven I buy some 
dime deir rag vat dey bin vear ; dey calls me de ole Dutch 
cuss. But dey don't know nottin' vot it is vorth. I deenk 
dey neever see no money ; may be so dey geev all de cheeken 
vot they been got for a leetle breaspin vot cost me not so much 
as von beet. Sometime dey be dam crazy fool ; dey know 
not how do make de count at all. Yees, I makes some money, 
a heap." 

I From the Homochitto to the suburbs of Natchez, a good 
half-day's ride, I found the country beautiful ; fewer hills 
than before, the soil very rich, and the land almost all inclosed 
in plantations, the roadside boundaries of which are old rose- 
hedges. The road is well constructed, and often, in passing 
through the hills, with high banks on each side, coped with 
thick and dark, but free and sportive hedges, out of which 
grow bending trees, brooding angle-like over the traveller, the 
sentiment of the most charming Herefordshire lanes is repro- 
duced. There are also frequent oak-woods, the trees often of 
great height. Sometimes these have been inclosed with neat 
palings, and slightly and tastefully thinned out, so as to form 



166 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

noble grounds around the residences of the planters, which 
are always very simple and unostentatious wooden houses. 
Near two of these are unusually good ranges of negro-houses. 
On many of the plantations, perhaps most, no residence is 
visible from the road, and the negro quarters, when seen, are 
the usual comfortless log-huts. 

Within three miles of the town the country is entirely 
occupied by houses and grounds of a villa character; the 
grounds usually paltry with miniature terraces, and trees and 
shrubs planted and trimmed with no regard to architectural 
or landscape considerations. There is, however, an abundance 
of good trees, much beautiful shrubbery, and the best hedges 
and screens of evergreen shrubs that I have seen in America. 
The houses are cheap and shabby. 

I was amused to recognize specimens of the " swell-head " 
fraternity, described by my nervous friend, as soon as I got 
into the villa district. First came two boys in a skeleton 
waggon, pitching along with a racking pony, which ran over 
Jude ; she yelped, I wheeled round, and they pulled up and 
looked apologetic. She was only slightly hurt, but thereafter 
gave a quicker and broader sheer to approaching vehicles than 
her Texas experience had taught her to do. 

Then came four youthful riders, and two old, roue-looking 
men, all upon a match-trot ; the young fellows screaming, 
breaking up, and swearing. After them cantered a mulatto 
groom, white-gloved and neatly dressed, who, I noticed, 
bowed politely, lifting his hat and smiling to a very aged and 
ragged negro with a wheelbarrow and shovel, on the foot path. 

Next came — and it was a swelteringly hot afternoon — an 
open carriage with two ladies taking an airing. Mr. S. had 
said that the swell-heads had " got to think that their old 
maumy niggers were not good enough for "their young ones ;'" 
and here, on the front seat of the carriage, was a white and 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 1G7 

veritable French bonne, holding a richly-belaced baby. The 
ladies sat back, good-looking women enough, prettily dressed, 
and excessively demure. . But the dignity of the turn-out 
chiefly reposed in the coachman, an obese old black man, 
who had, by some means, been set high up in the sun's 
face, on the bed-like cushion of the box, to display a great 
livery top-coat, with the wonted capes and velvet, buttoned 
brightly and tightly to the chin, and crowned by the proper 
emblazoned narrow-brimmed hat ; his elbows squared, the 
reins and whip in his hands, the sweat in globules all over 
his ruefully-decorous face, and his eyes fast closed in sleep. 

The houses and shops within the town itself are generally 
small, and always inelegant. A majority of the names on 
the signs are German ; the hotel is unusually clean, and the 
servants attentive ; and the stable at which I left Belshazzar 
is excellent, and contains several fine horses. Indeed, I never 
saw such a large number of fine horses as there is here, in 
any other town of the size. At the stable and the hotel 
there is a remarkable number of young men, extraordinarily 
dressed, like shop-boys on a Sunday excursion, all lounging 
or sauntering, and often calling at the bar ; all smoking, all 
twisting lithe walking-sticks, all " talking horse." 

But the grand feature of Natchez is the bluff, terminating 
in an abrupt precipitous bank over the river, with the public 
garden upon it. Of this I never had heard ; and when, after 
seeing my horse dried off and eating his oats with great 
satisfaction — the first time he has ever tasted oats, I suppose, 
and I had not seen them before for many months — I strolled 
off to see the town, I came upon it by surprise. I entered a 
gate and walked up a slope, supposing that I was approach- 
ing the ridge or summit of a hill, and expecting to see beyond 
it a corresponding slope and the town again, continuing in 
terraced streets to the river. I suddenly found myself on 



168 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

the very edge of a great cliff, and before me an indescribably 
vast expanse of forest, extending on every hand to a hazy 
horizon, in which, directly in front of me, swung the round, 
red, setting sun. Through the otherwise unbroken forest, 
the Father of Waters had opened a passage for himself, 
forming a perfect arc, the hither shore of the middle of the 
curve being hidden under the crest of the cliff, and the two 
ends lost in the vast obscurity of the Great West. Over- 
looked from such an eminence, the size of the Mississippi 
can be realized — which is difficult under ordinary circum- 
stances ; but though the fret of a swelling torrent is not 
wanting, it is perceptible only as the most delicate chasing 
upon the broad, gleaming expanse of polished steel, which at 
once shamed all my previous conceptions of the appearance 
of the greatest of rivers. 

Coming closer to the edge and looking downward, you see 
the lower town, of Natchez, its roofs with water flowing all 
around them, and its pigmy people wading, and labouring to 
carry upward their goods and furniture, in clanger from a 
rising movement of the great water. Poor people, " emi- 
grants and niggers " only. 

I laid down, and would have reposed my mind in the 
infinite vision westward, but was presently disturbed by a hog 
which came grunting near me, rooting in the poor turf of 
this wonderful garden. I rose and walked its length. Little 
more has been done than to inclose a space along the edge, 
which it would have been dangerous to build upon, to cut 
out some curving alleys now recaptured by the grass and 
weeds, and to plant a few succulent trees. A road to the 
lower town, cutting through it, is crossed by slight wooden 
foot-bridges, and there are some rough plank benches, adorned 
with stencilled " medical " advertisements. Some shrubs are 
planted on the crumbling face of the cliff, so near the top 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 169 

that the swine can obtain access to them. A man, bearded 
and smoking, and a woman with him, sitting at the extreme 
end, were the only visitors except myself and the swine. 

As I am writing there is a bustle in the street. A young 
man is being lifted up and carried into the bar-room. He 
is insensible. A beautiful mare, from which he has evidently 
been thrown, is led back from around the corner, quivering 
with excitement. 

I could find no reading-room ; no recent newspapers except 
The Natchez Free Trader, which has nothing but cotton and 
river news and steamboat puffs ; no magazines but aged 
Harpers ; and no recent j) UDnca tions of any sort are for 
sale or to be seen at the booksellers' ; so, after supper, I 
went to the bluff again, and found it most solemnly beau- 
tiful ; the young moon shining through rents in the clouds : 
the great gleaming crescent of water ; the dim, ungapped 
horizon ; the earth sensibly a mere swinging globe. 

Of all the town, only five Germans, sitting together, but 
smoking in silence, had gathered for this evening worship. 

As I returned up the main street, I stopped opposite a 
house from which there came the sound of excellent music — 
a violin and piano. I had heard no music since I was in 
Western Texas, and I leaned upon a lamp-post for an hour, 
listening. Many stopped near me for a few minutes, and 
went on. At length, a man who had remained some time, 
addressed me, speaking in a foreign tongue. " Can't you 
speak English ?" said I. 

" You are not an American ?" 

"Yes." 

" I should tzink it not." 

" I am ; I am a New Yorker." 



170 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

" So ? — yes, perhaps, but not zis country." 

" "What are you ?" 

"Italian." 

" Do you live here ?" 

"Yes." 

" Are there many Italians in Natchez ?" 

" Yes — some many — seven. All big dam rascaal. Yes. 
Ha ! ha ! ha ! True. Dam rascaal all of us." 

" "What do you do for a living here ?" 

" For me it is a cigar-store ; fruit ; confectionary." 

" And the rest ?" 

" Oh, everytzing. I don't expect dem be here so much 
long now." 

" Why— what will they do ?" 

"Dey all go to Cuba. Be vawr zair soon now. All go. 
All dam rascaal go, can go, ven ze vawr is. Good ting dat 
for Natchez, eh ? Yes, I tzink." 

He told me the names of the players; the violinist, an 
Italian, he asserted to be the best in America. He resided 
in Natchez, I understood, as a teacher ; and, I presume, the 
town has metropolitan advantages for instruction in all 
fashionable accomplishments. Yet, with a population of 
18,601, the number of children registered for the public 
schools and academies, or " Institutes," of the county seat, 
is but 1,015 ; and among these must be included many sent 
from other parts of the State, and from Arkansas and 
Louisiana ; the public libraries contain but 2,000 volumes, 
and the churches seat but 7,700.* 

Franklin, the next county in the rear of the county in 

* This may be compared with the town of Springfield, county of Sangammon, 
Illinois, in which, with a population of 19,228 (nearer to that of Natchez than 
any other town I observe in the Free States), the number of registeied school 
children is 3,300, the public libraries contain 20,000 volumes, and the churches 
can accommodate 28,000 sitters. 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 171 

which Natchez is situated (Adams), has a population of 
6,000, and but 132 children attending school. 

Mr. Eussell (North America : its Agriculture and Cli- 
mate, page 258) states that he had been led to believe that 
" as refined society was to be found at Natchez as in any 
other part of the United States ;" but his personal observa- 
tion is, that " the chief frequenters of the best hotel are low, 
drunken fellows." I find a crowd of big, silly boys, not 
drunk, but drinking, smoking, chewing, and betting, arid a 
few men who look like dissolute fourth-rate comedians, who 
have succeeded in swindling a swell-mob tailor. 

The first night after leaving Natchez I found lodging with 
a German, who, when I inquired if he could accommodate 
me, at once said, " Yes, sir, I make it a business to lodge 
travellers." 

He had a little farm, and owned four strong negro men 
and a woman with several children. All his men, however, 
he hired out as porters or servants in Natchez, employing a 
white man, a native of the country, to work with him on his 
farm. 

To explain the economy of this arrangement, he said that 
one of his men earned in Natchez #30 a month clear of all 
expenses, and the others much more than he could ever make 
their labour worth to him. A negro of moderate intelligence 
would hire, as a house-servant, for #200 a year and his 
board, which was worth #8 a month ; whereas he hired this 
white fellow, who was strong and able, for #10 a month ; 
and he believed he got as much work out of him as he could 
out of a negro. If labour were worth so much as he got for 
that of his negroes, why did the white man not demand 
more ? Well — he kept him hi whisky and tobacco beside 
his wages, and he was content. Most folks here did not like 



172 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

white labourers. They had only been used to have niggers 
do their work, and they did not know how to manage with 
white labourers ; but he had no difficulty. 

I asked if eight dollars would cover the cost of a man's 
board ? He supposed it might cost him rather more than 
that to keep the white man ; eight dollars was what it was 
generally reckoned in town to cost to keep a negro ; niggers 
living in town or near it were expected to have "extras;" 
out on the plantations, where they did not get anything but 
bacon and meal, of course it did not cost so much. Did he 
know what it cost to keep a negro generally upon the planta- 
tions ? It was generally reckoned, he said, that a nigger 
ought to have a peck of meal and three pounds of bacon a 
week ; some didn't give so much meat, but he thought it 
would be better to give them more. 

" You are getting rich," I said. " Are the Germans 
generally, hereabouts, doing well ? I see there are a good 
many in Natchez." 

" Oh yes ; anybody who is not too proud to work can get 
rich here." 

The next day, having ridden thirty tedious miles through 
a sombre country, with a few large plantations, about six 
o'clock I called at the first house standing upon or near the 
road which I have seen for some time, and solicited a lodging. 
It was refused, by a woman. How far was it to the next 
house ? I asked her. Two miles and a half. So I found it 
to be, but it was a deserted house, falling to decay, on an 
abandoned plantation. I rode several miles further, and it 
was growing dark, and threatening rain, before I came in 
sight of another. It was a short distance off the road, and 
approached by a private lane, from which it was separated by 
a grass plat. A well dressed man stood between the gate 
and the house. I stopped and bowed to him, but he turned 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 173 

his back upon me and walked to the house. I opened a gate 
and rode in. Two men were upon the gallery, but as they 
paid no attention to my presence when I stopped near them, 
I doubted if either were the master of the house. I asked, 
" Could I obtain a lodging here to-night, gentlemen ?" One 
of them answered, surlily, " No." I paused a moment that 
they might observe me — evidently a stranger benighted, with 
a fatigued horse, and then asked, " Can you tell me, sir, how 
far it is to a jmblic-house ?" "I don't know," replied the 
same man. I again remained silent a moment. " No 
public-houses in this section of the country, I reckon, sir," 
said the other. " Do you know how far it is to the next 
house on the road, north of this ?" " No," answered one. 
"You'll find one about two miles, or two miles and a half 
from here," said the other. "Is it a house in which I shall 
be likely to get a lodging, do you know ?" " I don't know, 
I'm sure." 

" Good night, gentlemen; you'll excuse me for troubling 
you. I am entirely a stranger in this region." 

A grunt, or inarticulate monosyllable, from one of them, 
was the only reply, and I rode away, glad that I had not 
been fated to spend an evening in such company. 

Soon afterward I came to a house and stables close upon 
the road. There was a man on the gallery playing the 
fiddle. I asked, " Could you accommodate me here to- 
night, sir ?" He stopped fiddling, and turned his head to- 
ward an open door, asking, " Wants to know if you can 
accommodate him ?" " Accommodate him with what ?" 
demanded a harsh-toned woman's voice. " With a bed of 
course — what do you s'pose — ho ! ho ! ho !" and he went on 
fiddling again. I had, during this conversation, observed 
ranges of negro huts behind the stables, and perceived that 
it must be the overseer's house of the plantation at which I 



174 COTTON AND SLAVEKY. 

had previously called. u Like master, like man," I thought, 
and rode on, my inquiry not having been even answered. 

I met a negro hoy on the road, who told me it was about 
two miles to the next house, but he did not reckon that I 
would get in there. " How far to the next house beyond 
that ?" " About four miles, sir, and I reckon you can get 
in there, master ; I've heerd they did take in travellers to 
that place." 

Soon after this it began to rain and grow dark ; so dark 
that I could not keep the road, for soon finding Belshazzar 
in difficulty, I got off and discovered that we were following 
up the dry bed of a small stream. In trying to get back I 
probably crossed the road, as I did not find it again, and 
wandered cautiously among trees for nearly an hour, at 
length coming to open country and a fence. Keeping this 
in sight, I rode on until I found a gate, entering at which, 
I followed a nearly straight and tolerable good road full an 
hour, as it seemed to me, at last coming to a large negro 
" settlement." 

I passed through it to the end of the rows, where was a 
cabin larger than the rest, facing on the space between the 
two lines of huts. A shout brought out the overseer. I 
begged for a night's lodging ; he was silent ; I said that I 
had travelled far, was much fatigued and hungry ; my horse 
was nearly knocked up, and I was a stranger in the country ; 
I had lost my road, and only by good fortune had found my 
way here. At length, as I continued urging my need, he 
said — 

" Well, I suppose you must stop. Ho, Byron ! Here, 
Byron, take this man's horse, and put him in my stable. 
'Light, sir, and come in." 

Within I found his wife, a young woman, showily dressed 
— a caricature of the fashions of the day. Apparently, they 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 175 

had both been making a visit to neighbours, and but just 
come home. I was not received kindly, but at therequest of 
her husband she brought out and set before me some cold 
corn -bread and fat bacon. 

Before I had finished eating my supper, however, they 
both quite changed their manner, and the woman ajjologized 
for not having made coffee. The cook had gone to bed and 
the fire was out, she said. She presently ordered Byron, as 
he brought my saddle in, to get some "light-wood" and 
make a fire ; said she was afraid I had made a poor supper, 
and set a chair by the fire-place for me as I drew away 
from the table. 

I plied the man with inquiries about his business, got him 
interested in points of difference between Northern and 
Southern agriculture, and soon had him in quite a sociable 
and communicative humour. He gave me much overseer's 
lore about cotton culture, nigger and cattle maladies, the 
right way to keep sweet potatoes, etc. ; and when I proposed 
to ride over the plantation with him in the morning, he said 
he " would be very thankful for my company." 

I think they gave up their own bed to me, for it was double, 
and had been slept in since the sheets were last changed ; the 
room was garnished with pistols and other arms and ammu- 
nition, rolls of negro-cloth, shoes and hats, handcuffs, a large 
medicine chest, and several books on medical aDd surgical 
subjects and farriery ; while articles of both men's and 
women's wearing apparel hung against the walls, which were 
also decorated with some large patent-medicine posters. One 
of them is characteristic of the place and the times.* 

* "The Washington Remedies— To Planters and Others. — These 
Remedies, now offered to the public under the title of the Washington Remedies, 
are composed of ingredients, many of which are not even known to Botany. No 
apothecary has them for sale ; they are supplied to the subscriber by the native 
red-men of Louisiana. The recipes by which they are compounded have descended 



176 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

We had a good breakfast in the morning, and immediately 
afterward mounted and rode to a very large cotton-field, 
where the whole field-force of the plantation was engaged. 

It was a first-rate plantation. On the highest ground 
stood a large and handsome mansion, but it had not been 
occupied for several years, and it was more than two years 
since the overseer had seen the owner. He lived several 
hundred miles away, and the overseer would not believe that I 
did not know him, for he was a rich man and an honourable, 
and had several times been where I came from — New York. 

The whole plantation, including the swamp land around it, 
and owned with it, covered several square miles. It was four 
miles from the settlement to the nearest neighbour's house. 
There were between thirteen and fourteen hundred acres 
under cultivation with cotton, corn, and other hoed crops, 
and two hundred hogs running at large in the swamp. It 
was the intention that corn and pork enough should be 
raised to keep the slaves and cattle. This year, however, it 
has been found necessary to purchase largely, and such was 
probably usually the case,* though the overseer intimated the 



to the present possessor, M. A. Micklejohn, from ancestors who obtained them 
from the friendly Indian tribes, prior to and during the Revolution, and they are 
now offered to the public with that confidence which has been gained from a 
nowledge of the fact that during so long a series of years there has never been 
known an instance in which they have failed to perform a speedy and permanent 
cure. The subscribers do not profess these remedies will cure every disarrangement 
of the human system, but in such as are enumerated below they feel they cannot 
fail. The directions for use have only to be strictly followed, and however 
despairing the patient may have been he will find cause for blissful hope and 
renewed life. 

" These preparations are no Northern patent humbug, but are manufactured in 
New Orleans by a Creole, who has long used them in private practice, rescuing 
many unfortunate victims of disease from the grave, after they have been given up 
by their physicians as incurable, or have been tortured beyond endurance by 
laceration and painful operations." 
* "The bacon is almost entirely imported from the Northern States, as well as 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 177 

owner had been displeased, and lie " did not mean to be 
caught so bad again." 

There were 135 slaves, big and little, of which 67 went to 
field regularly — equal, the overseer thought, to fully 60 prime 
hands. Besides these, there were 3 mechanics (blacksmith, 
carpenter, and wheelwright), 2 seamstresses, 1 cook, 1 stable 
servant, 1 cattle-tender, 1 hog-tender, 1 teamster, 1 house 
servant (overseer's cook), and one midwife and nurse. These 
were all first-class hands ; most of them would be worth 
more, if they were for sale, the overseer said, than the best 
field -hands. There was also a driver of the hoe-gang who 
did not labour personally, and a foreman of the plough-gang. 
These two acted as petty officers hi the field, and alternately 
in the quarters. 

There was a nursery for sucklings at the quarters, and 
twenty women at this time who left their work four times 
each day, for half an hour, to nurse their young ones. These 
woman, the overseer counted as half-hands— that is, expected 
to do half the day's work of a prime field-hand in ordinary 
condition. 

He had just sold a bad runaway to go to Texas, he 
happened to remark. He was whipping the fellow, when he 
turned and tried to stab him — then broke from him and ran 
away. He had him caught almost immediately with the 
dogs. After catching him, he kej)t him in irons till he had 
a chance to sell him. His niggers did not very often run 



a considerable quantity of Indian corn. This is reckoned bad management by in- 
telligent planters. * * * On this plantation as much Indian corn was raised as 
was needed, but little bacon, which was mostly imported from Ohio. The sum 
annually paid for this article was upwards of eight hundred pounds. Large 
plantations are not suited to the reading of hogs ; for it is found almost impos- 
sible to prevent the negroes from stealing and roasting the pigs." Mr. Russell, 
visiting the plantation of a friend near Natchez. — North America : its Agriculture, 
eic., p. 265, 

VOL. II. N 



?78 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

away, he said, because they had found that he was almost 
sure to catch them. As soon as he saw that one was gone 
he put the dogs on, and if rain had not just fallen, they 
would soon find him. Sometimes they did manage to outwit 
the dogs, hut then they almost always kept in the neighbour- 
hood, because they did not like to go where they could not 
sometimes get back and see then families, and he would soon 
get wind of where they had been ; they would come round 
their quarters to see their families and to get food, and as 
soon as he knew it, he would find their tracks and put the 
dogs on again. Two months was the longest time any of 
them ever kept out. He had dogs trained on purpose to run 
after niggers, and never let out for anything else. 

We found in the field thirty ploughs, moving together, 
turning the earth from the cotton plants, and from thirty to 
forty hoers, the latter mainly women, with a black driver 
walking about among them with a whip, which he often 
cracked at them, sometimes allowing the lash to fall lightly 
upon their shoulders. He was constantly mging them also 
with his voice. All worked very steadily, and though the 
presence of a stranger on the plantation must have been 
a most unusual occurrence, I saw none raise or turn their 
heads to look at me. Each gang was attended by a " water- 
toter," that of the hoe-gang being a straight, sprightly, 
plump little black girl, whose picture, as she stood balancing 
the bucket upon her head, shading her bright eyes with one 
hand, and holding out a calabash with the other to maintain 
her poise, would have been a worthy study for Murillo. 

I asked at what time they began to work in the morning. 
" Well," said the overseer, " I do better by my niggers than 
most. I keep 'em right smart at their work while they do 
work, but I generally knock 'em off at 8 o'clock in the morn- 
ing, Saturdays, and give 'em all the rest of the day to them- 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 179 

selves, and I always gives 'em Sundays, the whole day. 
Pickin' time, and when the crap's bad in grass, I sometimes 
keep 'em to it till about sunset, Saturdays, but I never work 
'em Sundays." 

" How early do you start them out in the morning, 
usually ?" 

"Well, I don't never start my niggers 'fore daylight, 'less 
'tis in pickin' time, then maybe I get 'em out a quarter of an 
hour before. But I keep 'em right smart to work through the 
day." He showed an evident pride in the vigilance of his 
driver, and called my attention to the large area of ground 
already hoed over that morning ; well hoed, too, as he said. 

"At what time do they eat ?" I asked. They ate "their 
snacks " in their cabins, he said, before they came out in the 
morning (that is before daylight — the sun rising at this time 
at a little before five, and the day dawning, probably, an hour 
earlier) ; then at 12 o'clock their dinner was brought to them 
in a cart — one cart for the plough-gang and one for the hoe- 
gang. The hoe-gang ate its dinner in the field, and only 
stopped work long enough to eat it. The plough-gang drove 
its teams to the " weather houses " — open sheds erected for 
the purpose in different parts of the plantation, under which 
were cisterns filled with rain water, from which the water- toters 
carried drink to those at work. The mules were fed with as 
much oats (in straw), corn and fodder as they would eat in two 
hours ; this forage having been brought to the weather houses 
by another cart. The ploughmen had nothing to do but eat 
their dinner in all this time. All worked as late as they 
could see to work well, and had no more food nor rest until 
they returned to their cabins.* At half-past nine o'clock the 

* This would give at this season hardly less than sixteen hours of plodding 
labour, relieved by but one short interval of rest, during the daylight, for the hoe- 
l. i , It is not improbable. I was accustomed to rise early and ride late, resting 

N 2 



180 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

drivers, each on an alternate night, blew a horn, and at ten 
"visited every cabin to see that its occupants were at rest, and 
not lurking about and spending their strength m fooleries, 
and that the fires were safe — a very unusual precaution ; the 
negroes are generally at liberty after their day's work is done 
till they are called in the morning. When washing and 
patching were done, wood hauled and cut for the fires, corn 
ground, etc., I did not learn : probably all chores not of daily 
necessity were reserved for Saturday. Custom varies in this 
respect. In general, with regard to fuel for the cabins, the 
negroes are left to look out for themselves, and they often 
have to go to " the swamp " for it, or at least, if it has been 
hauled, to cut it to a convenient size, after their day's work 
is done. The allowance of food was a peck of corn and four 
pounds of pork per week, each. When they could not get 
" greens " (any vegetables) he generally gave them five 
pounds of pork. They had gardens, and raised a good deal 
for themselves ; they also had fowls, and usually plenty ol 
eggs. He added, " the man who owns this plantation does 
more for his niggers than any other man I know. Every 
Christmas he sends me up a thousand or fifteen hundred 
dollars' [equal to eight or ten dollars each] worth of molasses 
and coffee, and tobacco, and calico, and Sunday tricks for 'em. 
Every family on this plantation gets a barrel of molasses at 
Christmas," * 



riming the heat of the day, while in the cotton district, hut I always found the 
negroes in the field when I first looked out, and generally had to wait for the 
negroes to come from the field to have my horse fed when I stopped for the night. 
J am told, however, and I believe, that it is usual in the hottest weather, to give 
a rest of an hour or two to all hands at noon. I never happened to see it done. 
The legal limit of a slave's day's work in South Carolina is fifteen hours. 

* I was told by a gentleman in North Carolina, that the custom of supplying 
molasses to negroes in Mississippi, was usually mentioned to those sold away from 
his part of the country, to reconcile them to cming thither. 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 181 

Beside which, the overseer added, they are able, if they 
choose, to buy certain comforts tor themselves — tobacco for 
instance — with money earned by Saturday and Sunday work. 
Some of them went into the swamps on Sunday, and made 
boards (which means slabs worked out with no other instru- 
ment than an axe). One man sold last year as much as fifty 
dollars' worth. 

Finding myself nearer the outer gate than the " quarters," 
when at length my curiosity was satisfied, I did not return to 
the house. After getting a clear direction how to find my 
way back to the road I had been upon the previous day, I said 
to the overseer, with some hesitation, " You will allow me to 
pay you for the trouble I have given you ?" He looked a 
little disconcerted by my putting the question in this way, but 
answered in a rnatter-of-course tone, " It will be a dollar and 
a quarter, sir." 

This was the only large plantation I had an opportunity of 
seeing at all closely, over which I was not chiefly conducted 
by an educated gentleman and slave owner, by whose habitual 
impressions and sentiments my own were probably somewhat 
influenced. From what I saw in passing, and from what I 
heard by chance of others, I suppose it to have been a very 
favourable specimen of those plantations on which the owners 
do not reside. A merchant of the vicinity recently in New 
York tells me that he supposes it to be a fair enough example 
of plantations of its class. There is nothing remarkable in 
its management, so far as he had heard. When I asked about 
the molasses and Christmas presents, he said he reckoned the 
overseer must have rather stretched that part of his story, but 
the owner was a very good man. A magistrate of the district, 
who had often been on the plantation, said in answer to an 
inquiry from me, that the negroes were very well treated upon 
it, though he did not think they were extraordinarily so. Hi3 



182 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

comparison was with plantations in general.* He also spoke 
well of the overseer. He had been a long time on this plan- 
tation — I think he said ever since it had begun to be 
cultivated. This is very rare ; it was the only case I met 
with in which an overseer had kept the same place ten years, 
and it was a strong evidence of his comparative excellence, 
that his employer had been so long satisfied with him. 
Perhaps it was a stronger evidence that the owner of the 
negroes was a man of good temper, systematic and thorough 
in the management of his property, t 

The condition of the fences, of the mules and tools, and 
tillage, which would have been considered admirable in the 
best farming district of New York — the dress of the negroes 
and the neatness and spaciousness of their " quarters," which 
were superior to those of most of the better class of plantations 
on which the owners reside, all bore testimony to a very 
unusually prudent and provident policy. 

* In De Bow's ' Resources of the South,' vol. i., p. 150, a table is furnished by a 
cotton-planter to show that the expenses of raising cotton are " generally greatly 
underrated." It is to be inferred that they certainly are not underrated in the 
table. On "a well improved and properly organized plantation," the" expense of 
feeding one hundred negroes, " as deduced from fifteen years' experience " of the 
writer, is asserted in this table to be $750 per annum, or seven dollars and a half 
each ; in this sum is included, however, the expenses of the " hospital and the 
overseer's table." This is much less than the expense for the same purposes, if 
the overseer's account was true, of the plantation above described. Clothing, shoes, 
bedding, sacks for gathering cotton, and so forth, are estimated by the same 
authority to cost an equal sum — $7.50 for each slave. I have just paid on 
account of a day labourer on a farm in New York, his board bill, he being a 
bachelor living at the house of another Irish labourer with a family. The charge 
is twenty-one times as large as that set down for the slave. 

t " I was informed that some successful planters, who held several estates 
in this neighbourhood [Natchez] made it a rule to change their overseers every 
year, on the principle that the two years' service system is sure to spod them." — 
Russell's North America: its Agriculture, etc., p. 258. 

" Overseers are changed every year ; a few remain four or five years, but the 
average time they remain on the same plantation does not exceed two years." — 
Southern Agriculturist, vol. iv., p. 351. 



THE VALLEY OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. 183 

I made no special inquiries about the advantages for 
education or means of religious instruction provided for the 
slaves. As there seems to be much public desire for definite 
information upon that point, I regret that I did not. I did 
not need to put questions to the overseer to satisfy my own 
mind, however. It was obvious that ail natural incitements 
to self-advancement had been studiously removed or ob- 
structed, in subordination to the general purpose of making 
the plantation profitable. Eegarding only the balance-sheet 
of the owner's ledger, it was admirable management. I am 
sorry to have to confess to an impression that it is rare, where 
this is the uppermost object of the cotton-planter, that an 
equally frugal economy is maintained ; and as the general 
character of the district along the Mississippi, which is 
especially noticeable for the number of large and very pro- 
ductive plantations which it contains, has now been sufficiently 
illustrated, I will here present certain observations which I 
wish to make upon the peculiar aspect of slavery in that and 
other districts where its profits to the owners of slaves are 
most apparent. 



184 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 



CHAPTEE V. 

SLAVERY IN ITS PROPERTY ASPECT — MORAL AND RELIGIOUS 
INSTRUCTION OF THE SLAVES, ETC. 

In a hilly part of Alabama, fifty miles north, of the principal 
cotton-growing districts of that State, I happened to have a 
tradesman of the vicinity for a travelling companion, when, 
in passing an unusually large cluster of negro cabins, he 
called my attention to a rugged range of hills behind them 
which, he said, was a favourite lurking-ground for runaway 
negroes. It afforded them numerous coverts for concealment 
during the day, and at night the slaves of the plantation 
we were passing would help them to find the necessaries of 
existence. He had seen folks who had come here to look 
after niggers from plantations two hundred miles to the south, 
ward. " I suppose," said he, " 't would seem kind o' barbarous 
to you to see a pack of hounds after a human being ?" 

" Yes, it would." 

" Some fellows take as much delight in it as in runnin' a fox. 
Always seemed to me a kind o' barbarous sport." [A pause.] 
"It's necessary, though." 

" I suppose it is. Slavery is a custom of society which 
has come to us from a barbarous people, and, naturally, bar- 
barous practices have to be employed to maintain it." 

" Yes, I s'pose that's so. But niggers is generally pretty 
well treated, considering. Some people work their niggers 
too hard, that's a fact. I know a man at — — ; he's a mer- 
chant there, and I have had dealings with him; he's got 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OF SLAVERY. 185 

three plantations, and he puts the hardest overseers he can 
get on them. He's all the time a' buying niggers, and they 
say around there he works 'em to death. On these small 
plantations, niggers ain't very often whipped bad; but on 
them big plantations, they've got to use 'em hard to keep any 
sort of control over 'em. The overseers have to always go about 
armed ; their life wouldn't be safe, if they didn't. As 't is, 
they very often get cut pretty bad." (Cutting is knifing ; 
it may be stabbing, in south-western parlance). 

He went on to describe what he had seen on some large 
plantations which he had visited for business purposes — indica- 
tions, as he thought, in the appearance of " the people," that 
they were being "worked to death." " These rich men," he 
said, " are always bidding for the overseer who will make the 
most cotton ; and a great many of the overseers didn't care for 
anything but to be able to say they've made so many bales in 
a year. If they make plenty of cotton, the owners never ask 
how many niggers they kill." 

I suggested that this did not seem quite credible ; a negro 
was a valuable piece of property. It would be foolish to use 
him in such a way. 

" Seems they don't think so," he answered. " They are 
always bragging — you must have heard them — how many 
bales then overseer has made, or how many their plantation 
has made to a hand. They never think of anything else. 
You see, if a man did like to have his niggers taken care of, 
he couldn't bear to be always hearing that all the plantations 
round had beat his. He'd think the fault was in his overseer. 
The fellow who can make the most cotton always gets paid 
the best." 

Overseers' wages were ordinarily from $200 to $600, but a 
real chiving overseer would very often get $1,000. Sometimes 
they'd get $1,200 or $1,500. He heard of $2,000 being 



18G COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

paid one fellow. A determined and perfectly relentless man 
— I can't recall his exact words, which were very expressive 
— a real devil of an overseer, would get almost any wages 
he'd ask ; because, when it was told round that such a man 
had made so many bales to the hand, everybody would be 
trying to get him. 

The man who talked in. this way was a native Alabamian, 
ignorant,- but apparently of more than ordinarily reflective 
habits, and he had been so situated as to have unusually good 
opportunities for observation. In character, if not in detail, 
I must say that his information was entirely in accordance 
with the opinions I should have been led to form from the 
conversations I heard by chance, from time to time, in the 
richest cotton districts. That his statements as to the bad 
management of large plantations, in respect to the waste of 
negro property, were not much exaggerated, I find frequent 
evidence in southern agricultural journals. The following is 
an extract from one of a series of essays published in The 
Cotton Planter, the chief object of which is to persuade 
planters that they are under no necessity to employ slaves 
exclusively in the production of cotton. The writer, Mr. 
M. W. Phillips, is a well-known, intelligent, and benevolent 
planter, who resides constantly on his estate, near Jackson, 
Mississippi : — 

" I have known many in the rich planting portion of Mississippi espe- 
cially, and others elsewhere, who, acting on the policy of the hoy in the 
fahle, who ' killed the goose for the golden egg,' accumulated property, yet 
among those who have relied solely on their product in land and negroes, 
I douht if this he the true policy of plantation economy. With the former 
everything has to bend, give way to large crops of cotton, land has to he 
cultivated wet or dry, negroes to work, cold or hot. Large crops planted, 
and they must be cultivated, or done so after a manner. When disease 
comes about, as, for instance, cholera, pneumonia, flux, and other violent 
diseases, these are more subject, it seemeth to me, than others, or even if 
cot, there is less vitality to work on, and, therefore, in like situations and 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OF SLAVERY. 187 

similar in severity, they must sink with more certainty ; or even should 
the animal economy rally under all these trials, the neglect consequent 
upon this ' cut and cover ' policy must result in greater mortality. Another 
objection, not one-fourth of the children horn are raised, and perhaps not 
over two-thirds are born on the place, which, under a different policy, 
might be expected. And this is not all : hands, and teams, and land must 
wear out sooner ; admitting this to be only one year sooner in twenty years, 
or that lands and negroes are less productive at forty than at forty-two, we 
see a heavy loss. Is this not so ? I am told of negroes not over thirty-five 
to forty-five, who look older than others at forty-five to fifty-five. I know 
a man now, not short of sixty, who might readily be taken for forty-five ; 
another on the same place full fifty (for I have known both for twenty-eight 
years, and the last one for thirty -two years), who could be sold for thirty- 
five, and these negroes are very leniently dealt with. Others, many others, 
I know and have known twenty-five to thirty years, of whom I can speak of 
as above. As to rearing children, I can point to equally as strong eases ; 
ay, men who are, ' as it were,' of one family, differing as much as four and 
eight bales in cropping, and equally as much in raising young negroes. 
The one scarcely paying expenses by his crop, yet in the past twenty-five 
years raising over seventy-five to a hundred negroes, the other buying more 
than raised, and yet not as many as the first. 

" I regard the 'just medium ' to be the correct point. Labour is conducive 
to health ; a healthy woman will rear most children. I favour good and 
fair work, yet not overworked so as to tax the animal economy, that the 
woman cannot rear healthy children, nor should the father be over-wrought, 
that his vital powers be at all infringed upon. 

" If the policy be adopted, to make an improvement in land visible, to 
raise the greatest number of healthy children, to make an abundance of 
provision, to rear a portion at least of work horses, rely on it we will soon 
find by our tax list that our country is improving. * * * 

"Brethren of the South, we must change our policy. Overseers are not 
interested in raising children, or meat, in improving land, or improving pro- 
ductive qualities of seed, or animals. Many of them do not care whether 
property has depreciated or improved, so they have made a crop [of cotton~\ to 
boast of. 

" As to myself, I care not who has the credit of making croj)S at Log 
Hall ; and I would prefer that an overseer, who has been one of my family 
for a year or two, or more, should be benefited ; but this thing is to be 
known and well understood. I plant such fields in such crops as I see fit ; 
I plant acres in corn, cotton, oats, potatoes, etc., as I select, and the general 
policy of rest, cultivation, etc., must be preserved which I lay down. A 
self-willed overseer may fraudulently change somewhat in'the latter, by 
not carrying out orders — that I cannot help. What I have written, I have 
written, and think I can substantiate." 



188 COTTON AND SLAVEKY. 

From the Southern Agriculturist, vol. iv., page 317: — 

" OVEESEEES. 

* * * " When they seek a place, they rest their claims entirely on 
the number of bags they have heretofore made to the hand, and generally 
the employer unfortunately recognizes the justice of such claims. 

"No wonder, then, that the overseer desires to have entire control of 
the plantation. No wonder he opposes all experiments, or, if they are per- 
sisted iii, neglects them ; presses everything at the end of the lash; pays no 
attention to the sick, except to keep them in the field as long as possible ; and 
drives them out again at the first moment, and forces sticklers and breeders to 
the utmost. He has no other interest than to make a big cotton crop. And if 
this does not please you, and induce you to increase his wages, he know 
men it will please, and secure him a situation with." 

From the Columbia South Carolinian : — 

* * * " Planters may be divided into two great classes, viz., those 
who attend to their business, and those who do not. And this creates 
corresponding classes of overseers. The planter who does not manage his 
own business must, of course, surrender everything into the hands of his 
overseer. Such a planter usually rates the merits of the overseer exactly 
in proportion to the number of bags of cotton he makes, and of course the 
overseer cares for nothing but to make a large crop. To him it is of no 
consequence that the old hands are worked down, or the young ones over- 
strained ; that the breeding women miscarry, and the sucklers lose their 
children ; that the mules are broken down, the plantation tools destroyed, 
the stock neglected, and the lands ruined : so that he has the requisite 
number of cotton bags, all is overlooked ; he is re-employed at an advanced 
salary, and his reputation increased. Everybody knows that by such a 
course, a crop may be increased by the most inferior overseer, in any given 
year, unless his predecessors have so entirely exhausted the resources of 
the plantation, that there is no part of the capital left which can be wrought 
up into current income. * * * Having once had the sole management 
of a plantation, and imbibed the idea that the only test of good planting is 
to make a large crop of cotton, an overseer becomes wortldess. He will no 
longer obey orders ; he will not stoop to details ; he scorns all improve- 
ments, and 10 ill not adopt any other plan of planting than simply to work 
lands, negroes, and mules to the top of their bent, which necessarily proves 
fatal to every employer who will allow it. 

" It seems scarcely credible, that any man owning a plantation will so 
abandon it and his people on it entirely to a hireling, no matter what his 
confidence in- him is. Yet there are numbers who do it habitually ; and I 
have even known overseers to stipulate that their employers should not give 
any order, nor interfere in any way with their management of the planta- 
tion. There are also some proprietors of considerable property and preten- 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OF SLAVERY. 189 

sion to being planters, who give their overseer a proportion of the crop for 
his wages ; thus bribing him by the strongest inducements of self-interest, 
to overstrain and work down everything committed to his charge. 

"No planter, who attends to his own business, can dispense with agents 
and sub-agents. It is impossible, on a plantation of any size, for the 
proprietor to attend to all the details, many of which are irksome and 
laborious, and he requires more intelligence to assist him than slaves 
usually possess. To him, therefore, a good overseer is a blessing. But an 
overseer who would answer the views of such a planter is most difficult to 
find. The men engaged in that occupation who combine the most intelli- 
gence, industry, and character, are allured into the service of chose who 
place all power in their hands, and are ultimately spoiled." 

An English traveller writes to the London Daily News 

from Mississrppi (1857) : — 

" On crossing the Big Block river, I left the sandhills and began to find 
myself in the rich loam of the valley of the Mississippi. The plantations 
became larger, the clearings more numerous and extensive, and the roads 
less hilly, but worse. Along the Yazoo river one meets with some of the 
richest soil in the world, and some of the largest crops of cotton in the 
Union. My first night in that region was passed at the house of a planter 
who worked but few hands, was a fast friend of slavery, and yet drew for 
my benefit one of the most mournful pictures of a slave's life I have ever 
met with. He said, and I believe truly, that the negroes of small planters 
are, on the whole, well treated, or at least as well as the owners can afford 
to treat them. Their master not unfrequently works side by side with them 
in the fields. * * * But on the large plantations, where the business 
is carried on by an overseer, and everything is conducted with military 
strictness and discipline, he described matters as being widely different. 
The future of the overseer depends altogether on the quantity of cotton he is 
able to make up for the market. Whether the owner be resident or non- 
resident, if the plantation be large, and a great number of hands be em- 
ployed upon it, the overseer gets credit for a large crop, and blame for a 
small one. His professional reputation depends in a great measure upon 
the number of bales or hogsheads he is able to produce, and neither his 
education nor his habits are such as to render it likely that he would allow 
any consideration for the negroes to stand in the way of his advancing it. 
His interest is to get as much work out of them as they can possibly 
perform. His skill consists in knowing exactly how hard they may be 
driven without incapacitating them for future exertion. The larger the 
plantation the less chance there is, of course, of the owner's softening the 
rigour of the overseer, or the sternness of discipline by personal interference. 

So, as Mr. H said, a vast mass of the slaves pass their lives, from the 

moment they are able to go afield in the picking season till they drop worn 



190 COTTON AND SLAVEEY. 

out into the grave, in incessant labour, in all sorts of weather, at all seasons 
ot the year, without any other change or relaxation than is furnished by 
sickness, without the smallest hope of any improvement either in their 
condition, in their food, or in their clothing, which are of the plainest and 
coarsest kind, and indebted solely to the forbearance or good temper of the 
overseer for exemption from terrible physical suffering. They are rung to 
bed at nine o'clock, almost immediately after bolting the food which they 
often have to cook after coming home from their day's labour, and are rung 
out of bed at four or five in the morning. The interval is one long round 
of toil. Life has no sunny spots for them. Their only refuge or consola- 
tion in this world is in their own stupidity and grossness. The nearer they 
are to the beast, the happier they are likely to be. Any mental or moral 
rise is nearly sure to bring unhappiness with it." 

The same gentleman writes from Columbus : — 

" One gets better glimpses of the real condition of the negroes from con- 
versations one happens to overhear than from what is told to one's-self — 
above all, when one is known to be a stranger, and particularly an English- 
man. The cool way in which you hear the hanging of niggers, the shooting 
of niggers, and the necessity for severe discipline among niggers talked of 
in bar-rooms, speaks volumes as to the exact state of the case. A negro 
was shot when running away, near Greensboro", a small town on my road, 
the day before I passed through, by a man who had received instructions 
from the owner to take him alive, and shoot him if he resisted. I heard 
the subject discussed by some ' loafers ' in the bar, while getting my horse 
fed, and I found, to my no small — I do not know whether to say horror or 
amusement — that the point in dispute was not the degree of moral guilt 
incurred by the murderer, but the degree of loss and damage for which he 
had rendered himself liable to the owner of the slave in departing from the 
letter of his commission. One of the group summed up the arguments on 
both sides, by exclaiming, ' Well, this shootin' of niggers should be put a 
stop to, that's a fact.' The obvious inference to be deduced from this 
observation was, that ' nigger shootin' ' was a slight contravention of police 
regulations — a little of which might be winked at, but which, in this 
locality, had been carried to such an extent as to call for the interference 
of the law." 

I do not think that I have ever seen the sudden death of a 
negro noticed in a Southern newspaper,- or heard it referred 
to in conversation, that the loss of property, rather than the 
extinction of life, was not the evident occasion of interest. 
Turning over several Southern papers at this moment, I fall 
at once upon these examples : — 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OF SLAVERY. 191 

" We are informed that a negro man, the property of Mr. William Mays, 
of this city, was killed last Thursday by a youth, the son of Mr. William 
Payne, of Campbell county. The following are the circumstances, as we 
have received them. Two sons of Mr. Payne were shooting pigeons on the 
plantation of Mr. Mays, about twenty miles from this place, and went to 
the tobacco-house, where the overseer and hands were housing tobacco ; 
one of the boys had a string of pigeors and the other bad none. On 
reaching the house, the negro who was killed asked the boy who had no 
pigeons, ' where his were.' He replied that lie killed none, but could kill 
him (the negro), and raised his gun and fired. The load took effect in 
the head, and caused death in a few hours. The negro was a valuable one. 
Mr. Mays had refused $1,200 for him."— Lynchburg Virginian. 

" A valuable negro boy, the property of W. A. Phipps, living in the upper 
end of this county, was accidentally drowned in the Holston river a few 
days ago.*' — Eogersville Times. 

"Mr. Tilghman Cobb's barn at Bedford, Va., was set fire to by lightning 
on Friday, the 11th, and consumed. Two negroes and three horses 
perished in the flames." — Neiv Orleans Daily Crescent. 

I have repeated these accounts, not to convey to the reader's 
mind the impression that slaves are frequently shot by their 
masters, which would be, no doubt, a mistaken inference, but 
to show in what manner I was made to feel, as I was very 
strongly in my journey, that what we call the sacredness of 
human life, together with a great range of kindred instincts, 
scarcely attaches at all, with most white men, to the slaves, 
and also in order to justify the following observation : — that I 
found the lives and the comfort of negroes, in the rich cotton- 
planting districts especially, habitually regarded, by all 
classes, much more from a purely pecuniary point of view 
than I had ever before supposed they could be ; and yet 
that, as property, negro life and negro vigour were generally 
much less . carefully economized than I had always before 
imagined them to be. 

As I became familiar with the circumstances, I saw reasons 
for this, which, in looking from a distance, or through the 
eyes of travellers, I had not been able adequately to ap- 
preciate. I will endeavour to state them : — 



192 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

It is difficult to handle simply as property, a creature 
possessing human passions and human feelings, however 
debased and torpid the condition of that creature may be; 
while, on the other hand, the absolute necessity of dealing 
with property as a thing, greatly embarrassed a man in any 
attempt to treat it as a person. And it is the natural result of 
this complicated state of things, that the system of slave-man- 
agement is irregular, ambiguous, and contradictory ; that it is 
never either consistently humane or consistently economical. 

As a general rule, the larger the body of negroes on a 
plantation or estate, the more completely are they treated 
as mere property, and in accordance with a policy calculated 
to insure the largest pecuniary returns. Hence, in part, the 
greater proportionate profit of such plantations, and the ten- 
dency which everywhere prevails in the planting districts to 
the absorption of small, and the augmentation of large estates. 
It may be true, that among the wealthier slave-owners there 
is oftener a humane disposition, a better judgment, and a 
greater ability to deal with their dependents indulgently and 
bountifully, but the effects of this disposition are chiefly felt, 
even on those plantations where the proprietor resides perma- 
nently, among the slaves employed about the house and 
stables, and perhaps a few old favourites in the quarters. It 
is more than balanced by the difficulty of acquiring a personal 
interest in the units of a large body of slaves, and an acquaint- 
ance with the individual characteristics of each. The treat- 
ment of the mass must be reduced to a system, the ruling- 
idea of which will be, to enable one man to force into the 
same channel of labour the muscles of a large number of men 
of various and often conflicting wills. 

The chief difficulty is to overcome their great aversion to 
labour. They have no objection to eating, chinking, and 
resting, when necessary, and no general disinclination to 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OF SLAVERY. 19o 

receive instruction. If a man own many slaves, therefore,, 
the faculty which he values highest, and pays most for, in 
an overseer, is that of making them work. Any fool could 
see that they were properly supplied with food, clothing, rest, 
and religious instruction. 

The labourers we see in towns, at work on railroads and 
steamboats, about stations and landings ; the menials of our 
houses and hotels, are less respectable, moral, and intelligent 
than the great majority of the whole labouring class of the 
North. The traveller at the South has to learn that there 
the reverse is the case to a degree which can hardly be 
sufficiently estimated. I have been obliged to think thaf 
many amiable travellers who have received impressions with 
regard to the condition of the slaves very different from mine, 
have failed to make a sufficient allowance for this. The 
rank-and-file plantation negroes are not to be readily made 
acquaintance with by chance or through letters of intro- 
duction. 

I have described in detail, in former chapters, two large 
plantations, which were much the best in respect to the 
happiness of the negroes, of all that I saw in the South. I 
am now about to describe what I judged to be the most 
profitable estate that I visited. In saying this I do not 
compare it with others noticed in this chapter, my observa- 
tions of which were too superficial to warrant a comparison. 
It was situated upon a tributary of the Mississippi, and 
accessible only by occasional steamboats ; even this mode of 
communication being frequently interrupted at low stages of 
the rivers. The slaves upon it formed about one twentieth 
of the whole population of the county, in which the blacks 
considerably outnumber the whites. At the time of my 
visit, the owner was sojourning upon it, with his family and 
several invited guests, but his usual residence was upon a 

VOL. II. o 



iJ4 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

small plantation, of little productive value, situated in a 
neighbourhood somewhat noted for the luxury and hospitality 
of its citizens, and having a daily mail, and direct railroad 
and telegraphic communication with New York. This was, 
if I am not mistaken, his second visit in five years. 

The property consisted of four adjoining plantations, each 
with its own negro-cabins, stables, and overseer, and each 
worked to a great extent independently of the others, but 
all contributing their crop to one gin-house and warehouse, 
and all under the general superintendence of a bailiff or 
manager, who constantly resided upon the estate, and in the 
absence of the owner, had vice-regal power over the overseers, 
controlling, so far as he thought fit, the economy of all 
the plantations. 

The manager was himself a gentleman of good education, 
generous and poetic in temperament, and possessing a capa- 
city for the enjoyment of nature and a happiness in the 
bucolic life, unfortunately rare with Americans. I found him 
a delightful companion, and I have known no man with whose 
natural tastes and feelings I have felt, on so short acquaint- 
ance, a more hearty sympathy. The gang of toiling negroes 
to him, however, was as essential an element of the poetry 
of nature as flocks of peaceful sheep and herds of lowing kine, 
and he would no more appreciate the aspect in which an 
Abolitionist would see them, than would Virgil have honoured 
the feelings of a vegetarian, sighing at the sight of flocks 
and herds destined to feed the depraved appetite of the 
carnivorous savage of modern civilization. The overseers 
were superior to most of their class, and, with one exception, 
frank, honest, temperate, and industrious, but their feelings 
toward negroes were such as naturally result from their 
occupation. They were all married, and lived with their 
families, each in a cabin or cottage, in the hamlet of the 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OP SLAVERY. 195 

slaves of which he had especial charge. Their wages varied 
from g 500 to g 1,000 a year each. 

These five men, each living more than a mile distant from 
either of the others, were the only white men on the estate, 
and the only others within several miles of them were a few 
skulking vagabonds. Of course, to secure their own personal 
safety and to efficiently direct the labour of such a large 
number of ignorant, indolent, and vicious negroes, rules, or 
rather habits and customs, of discipline, were necessary, 
which would in particular cases be liable to operate unjustly 
and cruelly. It is apparent, also, that, as the testimony of 
negroes against them would not be received as evidence in 
court, that there was very little probability that any excessive 
severity would be restrained by fear of the law. A provision 
of the law intended to secure a certain j)rivilege to slaves, 
was indeed disregarded under my own observation, and such 
infraction of the law was confessedly customary with one of 
the overseers, and was permitted by the manager, for the 
reason that it seemed to him to be, in a certain degree, justi- 
fiable and expedient under the circumstances, and because he 
did not like to interfere unnecessarily in such matters. 

In the main, the negroes appeared to be well taken care of 
and abundantly supplied with the necessaries of vigorous 
physical existence. A large part of them lived in commo- 
dious and well-built cottages, with broad galleries in front, so 
that each family of five had two rooms on the lower floor, and 
a loft. The remainder lived in log huts, small and mean in 
appearance, but those of their overseers were little better, and 
preparations were being made to replace all of these by neat 
boarded cottages. Each family had a fowl-house and hog-sty 
(constructed by the negroes themselves), and kept fowls and 
swine, feeding the latter during the summer on weeds and 
fattening them in the autumn on corn, stolen (this was men- 

o 2 



196 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

tioned to me by the overseers as if it were a matter of course) 
from their master's corn-fields. I several times saw gangs of 
them eating the dinner which they had brought, each man 
for himself, to the field, and observed that they generally had 
plenty, often more than they could eat, of bacon, corn-bread, 
and molasses. The allowance of food is weighed and mea- 
sured under the eye of the manager by the drivers, and distri- 
buted to the head of each family weekly : consisting of — for 
each person, 3 pounds of pork, 1 peck of meal; and from 
January to July, 1 quart of molasses. Monthly, in addition, 
1 pound tobacco, and 4 pints salt. No drink is ever served 
but water, excej)t after unusual exposure, or to ditchers work- 
ing in water, who get a glass of whisky at night. All hands 
cook for themselves after work at night, or whenever they 
please between nightfall and daybreak, each family in its own 
cabin. Each family has a garden, the products of which, to- 
gether with eggs, fowls, and bacon, they frequently sell, or 
use in addition to their regular allowance of food. Most of 
the families buy a barrel of flour every year. The manager 
endeavours to encourage this practice ; and that they may spend 
their money for flour instead of liquor, he furnishes it to them 
at rather less than what it costs him at wholesale. There are 
many poor whites within a few miles who will always sell 
liquor to the negroes, and encourage them to steal, to obtain 
the means to buy it of them. These poor whites are always 
spoken of with anger by the overseers, and they each have a 
standing offer of much more than the intrinsic value of their 
land, from the manager, to induce them to move away. 

The negroes also obtain a good deal of game. They set 
traps for raccoons, rabbits, and turkeys ; and I once heard the 
stock-tender complaining that he had detected one of the 
vagabond whites stealing a turkey which had been caught in 
his pen. I several times rartook of game, while en the plan- 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OF SLAVERY. 197 

tation, tliat had been purchased of the negroes. The stock- 
tender, an old negro, whose business it was to ride about in 
the woods and keep an eye on the stock cattle that were 
pastured in them, and who was thus likely to know where 
the deer ran, had an ingenious way of supplying himself with 
venison. He lashed a scythe blade or butcher's knife to the 
end of a pole so that it formed a lance ; this he set near a 
fence or fallen tree which obstructed a path in which the deer 
habitually ran, and the deer in leaping over the obstacle would 
leap directly on the knife. In this manner he had killed two 
deer the week before my visit. 

The manager sent to him for some of this venison for his 
own use, and justified himself to me for not paying for it on 
the ground that the stock-tender had undoubtedly taken time 
which really belonged to his owner to set his spear. Game 
taken by the field-hands was not looked upon in the same 
light, because it must have been got at night when they were 
excused from labour for their owner. 

The first morning I was on the estate, while at breakfast 
with the manager, an old negro woman came into the room 
and said to him, " Dat gal's bin bleedin' agin' dis mornin'." 

" How much did she bleed ?" 

" About a pint, sir." 

"Very well ; I'll call and see her after breakfast." 

" I come up for some sugar of lead, masser ; I gin her some 
powdered alum 'fore I come away." 

" Very well ; you can have some." 

After breakfast the manager invited me to ride with him 
on his usual daily round of inspection through the planta- 
tions. 

On reaching the nearest "quarters," we stopped at a house, 
a little larger than the ordinary cabins, which was called the 
loom-house, in which a dozen negroes were at work making 



198 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

shoes, and manufacturing coarse cotton stuff for negro cloth- 
ing. One of the hands so employed was insane, and most of 
the others were cripples, invalids with chronic complaints, or 
unfitted hy age, or some infirmity, for field- work. 

From this we went to one of the cabins, where we found 
the sick woman who had been bleeding at the lungs, with the 
old nurse in attendance upon her. The manager examined 
and prescribed for her in a kind manner. When we came 
out he asked the nurse if any one else was sick. 

" Oney dat woman Carline." 

" What do you think is the matter with her ?" 

"Well, I don't tink dere's any ting de matter wid her, 
rnasser ; I mus' answer you for true, I don't tink any ting de 
matter wid her, oney she's a little sore from dat whippin' she 
got." 

We went to another cabin and entered a room where a 
woman lay on a bed, groaning. It was a dingy, comfortless 
room, but a musquito bar, much patched and very dirty, 
covered the bed. The manager asked the woman several 
times what was the matter, but could get no distinct reply. 
She appeared to be suffering great pain. The manager felt 
her pulse and looked at her tongue, and after making a few 
more inquiries, to which no intelligible reply was given, 
told her he did not believe she was ill at all. At this 
the woman's groans redoubled. " I have heard of your 
tricks," continued the manager ; " you had a chill when I 
came to see you yesterday morning ; you had a chill when 
the mistress came here, and you had a chill when the master 
came. I never knew a chill to last the whole day. So you'll 
just get up now and go to the field, and if you don't work 
smart, you'll get a dressing ; do you hear ?" 

We then left. The manager said that he rarely — almost 
never — had occasion to employ a physician for the people. 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OP SLAVERY. 19 b? 

Never for accouchernents ; the women, from their labour in 
the field, were not subject to the difficulty, danger, and pain 
which attended women of the better classes in giving birth 
to their offspring. (I do not suppose that there was a 
physician within a day's journey of the plantations.) 

Near the first quarters we visited there was a large black- 
smith's and wheelwright's shop, in which a number of 
mechanics were at work. Most of them, as we rode up, 
were eating their breakfast, which they warmed at their fires. 
Within and around the shop there were some fifty ploughs 
which they were putting in order. The manager inspected 
the work, found some of it faulty, sharply reprimanded the 
workmen for not getting on faster, and threatened one of 
them with a whipping for not paying closer attention to the 
directions which had been given him. 

The overseer of this plantation rode up while we were at 
the shop, and in a free and easy style, reported to the 
manager how all his hands were employed. There were so 
many at this and so many at that, and they had done so 
much since yesterday. " There's that girl, Caroline," said 
the manager ; " she's not sick, and I told her she must go to 
work ; put her to the hoeing ; there's nothing the matter 
with her, except she's sore with the whipping she got. You 
must go and get her out." A woman passing at the time, 
the manager told her to go and tell Caroline she must get 
up and go to work, or the overseer would come and start 
her. She returned in a few minutes, and reported that Caro- 
line said she could not get up. The overseer and manager 
rode toward the cabin, but before they reached it, the girl, 
who had probably been watching us from the window, came 
out and went to the field with her hoe. They then returned 
to me and continued their conversation. Just before we left 
the overseer, he said, " I think that girl who ran away last 



200 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

week was in her cabin last night." The manager told me, 
as we rode on, that the people often ran away after they have 
been whipped, or something else had happened to make them 
angry. They hide in the swamp, and come in to the cabins 
at night to get food. They seldom remain away more than 
a fortnight, and when they come in they are whipped. The 
woman, Caroline, he said, had been delivered of a dead child 
about six weeks before, and had been complaining and. 
getting rid of work ever since. She was the laziest woman 
on the estate. This shamming illness gave him the most 
disagreeable duty he had to perform. Negroes were famous 
for it. " If it was not for her bad character," he continued, 
" I should fear to make her go to work to-day ; but her 
pulse is steady, and her tongue perfectly smooth. We have 
to be sharp with them ; if we were not, every negro on the 
estate would be a-bed." 

We rode on to where the different gangs of labourers were 
at work, and inspected them one after another. I observed, 
as we were looking at one of the gangs, that they were very 
dirty. " Negroes are the filthiest people in the world," said 
the manager ; " there are some of them who would not keep 
clean twenty-four hours at a time if you gave them thirty 
suits a year." I asked him if there were any rules to 
maintain cleanliness. There were not, but sometimes the 
negroes were told at night that any one who came into the 
field the next morning without being clean would be 
whipped. This gave no trouble to those who were habi- 
tually clean, while it was in itself a punishment to those 
who were not, as they were obliged to spend the night in 
washing. 

They were furnished with two suits of summer, and one of 
winter clothing each year. Besides which, most of them got 
presents of holiday finery (calico dresses, handkerchiefs, etc.), 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OP SLAVERY. 201 

and purchased more for themselves, at Christmas. One 
of the drivers now in the field had on a uniform coat of an 
officer of artillery. After the Mexican war, a great deal of 
military clothing was sold at auction in New Orleans, and 
much of it was bought by the planters at a low price, and 
given to their negroes, who were greatly pleased with it. 

Each overseer regulated the hours of work on his own 
plantation. I saw the negroes at work before sunrise and 
after sunset. At about eight o'clock they were allowed to 
stop for breakfast, and again about noon, to dine. The length 
of these rests was at the discretion of the overseer or drivers, 
usually, I should say, from half an hour to an hour. There 
was no rule. 

The number of hands directed by each overseer was con- 
siderably over one hundred. The manager thought it would 
be better economy to have a white man over every fifty hands, 
but the difficulty of obtaining trustworthy overseers prevented 
it. Three of those he then had were the best he had ever 
known. He described the great majority as being passionate, 
careless, inefficient men, generally intemperate, and totally 
unfitted for the duties of the position. The best overseers* 
ordinarily, are young men, the sons of small plantexs, who 
titke up the business temporarily, as a means of acquiring 
a little capital with which to purchase negroes for them- 
selves. 

The ploughs at work, both with single and double mule 
teams, were generally held by women, and very well held, too. 
I watched with some interest for any indication that their sex 
unfitted them for the occupation. Twenty of them were 
ploughing together, with double teams and heavy ploughs. 
They were superintended by a negro man who carried a whip, 
which he frequently cracked at them, permitting no dawdling 
<t delay at the turning ; and they twitched their ploughs 



202 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

around on the .head-land, jerking their reins, and yelling to 
their mules, with apparent ease, energy, and rapidity. 
Throughout the South-west the negroes, as a rule, appear to 
be worked much harder than in the Eastern and Northern 
Slave States. I do not think they accomplish as much in 
the same time as agricultural labourers at the North usually 
do, but they certainly labour much harder, and more unre- 
mittingly. They are constantly and steadily driven up to 
their work, and the stupid, plodding, machine-like manner in 
which they labour, is painful to witness. This was especially 
the case with the hoe- gangs. One of them numbered nearly 
two hundred hands (for the force of two plantations was work- 
ing together), moving across the field in parallel lines, with 
a considerable degree of precision. I repeatedly rode through 
the lines at a canter, with other horsemen, often coming upon 
them suddenly, without producing the smallest change or in- 
terruption in the dogged action of the labourers, or causing 
one of them, so far as I could see, to lift an eye from the 
ground. I had noticed the same thing with smaller numbers 
before, but here, considering that I was a stranger, and that 
strangers could but very rarely visit the plantation, it amazed 
me very much. I think it told a more painful story than any I 
had ever heard, of the cruelty of slavery. It was emphasized 
by a tall and powerful negro who walked to and fro in the rear 
of the line, frequently cracking his whip, and calling out in 
the surliest manner, to one and another, " Shove your hoe, 
there ! shove your hoe !" But I never saw him strike any 
one with the whip. 

The whip was evidently in constant use, however. There 
were no rules on the subject, that I learned ; the overseers and 
drivers punished the negroes whenever they deemed it neces- 
sary, and in such manner, and with such severity, as they 
thought fit. "If you don't work faster," or "If you don't 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OF SLAVERY. 203 

work better," or "If you don't recollect what I tell you, I 
will have you flogged," I often heard. I said to one of the 
overseers, " It must be disagreeable to have to punish them 
as much as you do ?" " Yes, it would be to those who are 
not used to it — but it's my business, and I think nothing of 
it. Why, sir, I wouldn't mind killing a nigger more than I 
would a dog." I asked if he had ever killed a negro ? " Not 
quite that," he said, but overseers were often obliged to. 
Some negroes are determined never to let a white man whip 
them, and will resist you, when you attempt it ; of course 
you must kill them in that case.* Once a negro, whom he 
was about to whip in the field, struck at his head with a 
hoe. He parried the blow with his whip, and, drawing a pistol, 
tried to shoot him ; but the pistol missing fire, he rushed in and 
knocked him down with the butt of it. At another time, a 
negro whom he was . punishing insulted and threatened him. 
He went to the house for his gun, and as he was returning, 
the negro, thinking he would be afraid of spoiling so valuable 
a piece of property by firing, broke for the woods. He fired 
at once, and put six buck-shot into his hips. He always 
carried a bowie-knife, but not a pistol unless he anticipated 
some unusual act of insubordination. He always kept a pair 
of pistols ready loaded over the mantel-piece, however, in case 
they should be needed. It was only when he first came upon 
a plantation that he ever had much trouble. A great many 
overseers were unfit for their business, and too easy and slack 
with the negroes. When he succeeded such a man, he had 

* " On Monday last, as James Allen (overseer on Prothro's plantation at 
St. Maurice) was punishing a negro boy named Jack, for stealing hogs, the boy 
ran off before the overseer had chastised him sufficiently for the offence. He was 
immediately pursued by the overseer, who succeeded in catching him, when the 
negro drew a knife and inflicted a terrible gash in his abdomen. The wounds of 
the overseer were dressed bv Dr. Stephens, who pronounces it a very critical case, 
but still entertains hope of his recovery." — Nachitoches Chronicle. 



201 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

hard work for a time to break the negroes in ; but it did not 
take long to teach them their place. His conversation on the 
subject was exactly like what I have heard said, again and 
again, by northern shipmasters and officers, with regard to 
seamen. 

I happened to see the severest corporeal punishment of a 
negro that I witnessed at the South while visiting this estate. 
I suppose, however, that punishment equally severe is com- 
mon ; in fact, it must be necessary to the maintenance of 
adequate discipline on every large plantation. It is much 
more necessary than on shipboard, because the opportunities 
of hiding away and shirking labour, and of wasting and in- 
juring the owner's property without danger to themselves, are 
far greater in the case of the slaves than in that of the sailors, 
but, above all, because there is no real moral obligation on the 
part of the negro to do what is demanded of him. The sailor 
performs his duty in obedience to a voluntary contract ; the 
slave is in an involuntary servitude. The manner of the over- 
seer who inflicted the punishment, and his subsequent conver- 
sation with me about it, indicated that it was by no mean-! 
unusual in severity. I had accidentally encountered him, and 
he was showing me his plantation. In going from one side 
of it to the other, we had twice crossed a deep gully, at the 
bottom of which was a thick covert of brushwood. We were 
crossing it a third time, and had nearly passed through the 
brush, when the overseer suddenly stopped his horse exclaim- 
ing, " What's that ? Hallo ! who are you, there ?" 

It was a girl lying at full length on the ground at the bot- 
tom of the gully, evidently intending to hide herself from us 
in the bushes. 

" "Who are you, there ?" 

" Sam's Sail, sir." 

" What are you skulking there for ?" 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OF SLAVERY. 205 

The girl half rose, but gave no answer. 

" Have you been here all day ?" 

" No, sir." 

" How did you get here ?" 

The girl made no reply. 

" Where have you been all day ?" 

The answer was unintelligible. 

After some further questioning, she said her father acci- 
dentally locked her in, when he went out in the morning. 

" How did you manage to get out ?" 

" Pushed a plank off, sir, and crawled out." 

The overseer was silent for a moment, looking at the girl, 
and then said, " That won't do ; come out here." The girl 
arose at once, and walked towards him. She was about 
eighteen years of age. A bunch of keys hung at her waist, 
which the overseer espied, and he said, " Your father locked 
you in ; but you have got the keys." After a little hesitation, 
she replied that these were the keys of some other locks ; 
her father had the door-key. 

Whether her story were true or false, could have been 
ascertained in two minutes by riding on to the gang with 
which her father was at work, but the overseer had made up 
his mind. 

" That won't do ;" said he, " get down." The girl knelt on 
the ground ; he got off his horse, and holding him with his left 
hand, struck her thirty or forty blows across the shoulders with 
his tough, flexible, " raw-hide " whip (a terrible instrument for 
the purpose). They were well laid on,at arm's length, but with 
no appearance of angry excitement on the part of the overseer. 
At every stroke the girl winced and exclaimed, "Yes, sir !'' 
or " Ah, sir !" or" Please, sir !" not groaning or screaming. 
At length he stopped and said, " Now tell me the truth." The 
girl repeated the same story. " You have not got enough 



206 DOTTON AND SLAVERY. 

yet/' said he; "pull up your clothes — lie down." The girl 
without any hesitation, without a word or look of remon- 
strance or entreaty, drew closely all her garments under her 
shoulders, and lay down upon the ground with her face toward 
the overseer, who continued to flog her with the raw hide, 
across her naked loins and thighs, with as much strength as 
before. She now shrunk away from him, not rising, but 
writhing, grovelling, and screaming, "Oh, don't sir! oh, 
please stop, master ! please, sir ! please, sir ! oh, that's 
enough, master ! oh, Lord ! oh, master, master ! oh, God 
master, do stop ! oh, God, master ! oh, God, master !" 

A young gentleman of fifteen was with us ; he had ridden 
in front, and now, turning on his horse, looked back with an 
expression only of impatience at the delay. It was the first time 
I had ever seen a woman flogged. I had seen a man cud- 
gelled and beaten, in the heat of passion, before, but never 
flogged with a hundredth part of the severity used in this 
case. I glanced again at the perfectly passionless but rather 
grim business-like face of the overseer, and again at the young- 
gentleman, who had turned away ; if not indifferent he had 
evidently not the faintest sympathy with my emotion. Only 
my horse chafed. I gave him rein and spur and we plunged 
into the bushes and scrambled fiercely up the steep acclivity. 
The screaming yells and the whip strokes had ceased when I 
reached the top of the bank. Choking, sobbing, spasmodic 
groans only were heard. I rode on to where the road, 
coming diagonally up the ravine, ran out upon the cotton- 
field. My young companion met me there, and immediately 
afterward the overseer. He laughed as he joined us, and said : 

" She meant to cheat me out of a day's work, and she has 
done it, too." 

" Did you succeed in getting another story from her ?" I 
asked, as soon as I could trust myself to speak. 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OF SLAVERY. 207 

" No ; she stuck to it." 

" Was it not perhaps true ?" 

" Oh no, sir ; she slipped out of the gang when they were 
going to work, and she's been dodging about all day, going 
from one place to another as she saw rne coming. She saw 
us crossing there a little while ago, and thought we had gone 
to the quarters, but we turned back so quick, we came into 
the gully before she knew it, and she could do nothing but 
lie down in the bushes." 

" I suppose they often slip off so." 

" No, sir ; I never had one do so before — not like this ; 
they often run away to the woods, and are gone some time, 
but I never had a dodge-off like this before." 

" Was it necessary to punish her so severely ?" 

" Oh yes, sir," (laughing again.) " If I hadn't, she would 
have done the same thing again to-morrow, and half the 
people on the plantation would have followed her example. 
Oh, you've no idea how lazy these niggers are ; you Northern 
people don't know anything about it. They'd never do any 
work at all if they were not afraid of being whipped." 

We soon afterward met an old man, who, on being closely 
questioned, said that he had seen the girl leave the gang as 
they went to work after dinner. It appeared that she had 
been at work during the forenoon, but at dinner-time the 
gang was moved, and as it passed through the gully she 
slipped out. The driver had not missed her. The overseer 
said that when he first took charge of this plantation, the 
negroes ran away a great deal — they disliked him so much. 
They used to say, 'twas hell to be on his place ; but after a 
few months they got used to his ways, and liked him better 
than any of the rest. He had not had any run away now for 
some time. When they ran away they would generally 
return within a fortnight. If many of them went off, or if 



208 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

tliey stayed out long, lie would make the rest of the force work 
Sundays, or deprive them of some of their usual privileges 
until the runaways returned. The negroes on the plantation 
could always bring them in if they chose to do so. They 
depended on them for their food, and they had only to stop 
the supplies to oblige them to surrender. 

Accepting the position of the overseer, I knew that his 
method was right, but it was a red-hot experience to me, 
and has ever since been a fearful thing in my memory. 
Strangely so, I sometimes think, but I suppose the fact that 
the delicate^ and ingenuous lad who was with me, betrayed not 
even the slightest flush of shame, and that I constrained 
myself from the least expression of feeling of any kind, made 
the impression in my brain the more intense and lasting. 

Sitting near a gang with an overseer and the manager, 
the former would occasionally call out to one and another by 
name, in directing or urging their labour. I asked if he 
knew them all by name. He did, but I found that the 
manager did not know one in five of them. The overseer 
said he generally could call most of the negroes on a planta- 
tion by their names in two weeks after he came to it, but it 
was rather difficult to leam them on account of there being 
so many of the same name, distinguished from each other by 
a prefix. " There's a Big Jim here, and a Little Jim, and 
Eliza's Jim, and there's Jim Bob, and Jim Clarisy." 

" What's Jim Clarisy ? — how does he get that name ?" 

" He's Clarisy 's child, and Bob is Jim Bob's father. That 
fellow ahead there, with the blue rag on his head, his name 
is Swamp ; he always goes by that name, but his real name 
is Abraham, I believe ; is it not, Mr. [Manager] ?" 

"His name is Swamp on the plantation register — that's 
all I know of him." 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OP SLAVERY. 209 

" I believe his name is Abraham," said the overseer ; " he 

told me so. He was bought of Judge , he says, and he 

told me his master called him Swamp because he ran away so 
much. He is the worst runaway on the place." 

I inquired about the increase of the negroes on the estate, 
and the manager having told me the number of deaths and 
birtbs the previous year, which gave a net increase of four 
per cent. — on Virginia estates it is often twenty per cent. — I 
asked if the negroes began to have children at a very early 
age. " Sometimes at sixteen," said the manager. " Yes, 
and at fourteen," said the overseer; " that girl's had a child" 
— pointing to a girl that did not appear older than fourteen. 
" Is she married ?" " No." " You see," said the manager, 
"negro girls are not remarkable for chastity; their habits 
indeed rather hinder them from having children. They'd 
have them younger than they do, if they would marry or live 
with but one man, sooner than they do.* They often do not 
have children till they are twenty-five years old." "Are 
those who are married true to each other ?" I asked. The 
overseer laughed heartily at the idea, and described a dis- 
gusting state of things. Women were almost common pro- 
perty, though sometimes the men were not all inclined to 
acknowledge it ; for when I asked : ' ' Do you not try to 
discourage this ?" the overseer answered : " No, not unless 
they quarrel." " They get jealous and quarrel among them- 
selves sometimes about it," the manager explained, " or 
come to the overseer and complain, and he has them 
punished." " Give all hands a damned good hiding," said 
the overseer. " You punish for adultery, then, but not for 

* Mr. Russell makes an observation to the same effect with regard to the Cuba 
plantations, p. 230. On these large cotton plantations there are frequently more 
men than women, men being bought in preference to women for cotton picking. 

The contrary is usually the case on the small plantations, where the profits of 
breeding negroes are constantly in view. 

VOL. II. P 



210 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

fornication ?" " Yes," answered the manager, but " No," 
insisted the overseer, " we punish them for quarrelling ; if 
they don't quarrel I don't mind anything about it, but if it 
makes a muss, I give all four of 'em a warning." 

Biding through a large gang of hoers, with two of the 
overseers, I observed that a large proportion of them ap- 
peared to be thorough-bred Africans. Both of them thought 
that the " real black niggers " were about three-fourths of 
the whole number, and that this would hold as an average on 
Mississippi and Louisiana plantations. One of them pointed 
out a girl — " That one is pure white ; you see her hair ?" 
(It was straight and sandy.) " She is the only one we have 
got." It was not uncommon, he said, to see slaves so white 
that they could not be easily distinguished from pure-blooded 
whites. He had never been on a plantation before, that had 
not more than one on it.* "Now," said I, "if that girl 
should dress herself well, and run away, would she be sus- 
pected of being a slave ?" (I could see nothing myself by 
which to distinguish her, as she passed, from an ordinary poor 
white girl.) 

" Oh, yes ; you might not know her if she got to the 
North, but any of us would know her." 

"How?" 

" By her language and manners." 

" But if she had been brought up as house-servant ?" 

" Perhaps not in that case." 

* " A woman, calling herself Violet Ludlow, was arrested a few days ago, and 
committed to jail, on the supposition that she was a runaway slave belonging to 
A. M. Mobley, of Upshur county, Texas, who had offered through our columns a 
reward of fifty dollars for her apprehension. On being brought before a justice of 
the peace, she stated that she was a white woman, and claimed her liberty. She 
states that she is a daughter of Jeremiah Ludlow, of Pike county, Alabama, and 
was brought from that country in 1853, by George Cope, who emigrated to Texas. 
After arriving in Texas, she was sold by George Cope to a Doctor Terry, in Upshur 
county, Texas, and was soon alter sold by him to a Mrs. Hagen, or Hagens, of the 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OP SLAVERY. 211 

The other thought there would be no difficulty ; you could 
always see a slave girl quail when you looked in her eyes. 

I asked if they thought the mulattoes or white slaves were 
weaker or less valuable than the pure negroes. 

" Oh, no ; I'd rather have them a great deal," said one. 
" Well, I had not," said the other ; " the blacker the better 
for me." "The white ones," added the first, "are more 
active, and know more, and I think they do the most work." 
" Are they more subject to illness, or do they appear to be of 
weaker constitutions ?" One said they were not, the other 
that they did not seem to bear the heat as well. The first 
thought that this might be so, but that, nevertheless, they 
would do more work. I afterwards asked the manager's 
opinion. He thought they did not stand excessive heat as 
well as the pure negroes, but that, from their greater activity 
and willingness, they would do more work. He believed 
they were equally strong and no more liable to illness ; had 
never had reason to think them of weaker constitution. They 
often had- large families, and he had not noticed that their 



same county. Violet says that she protested against each sale made of her, declar- 
ing herself a free woman. She names George Gilmer, Thomas Rogers, John 
Garret, and others, residents of Pike county, Alabama, as persons who have known 
her from infancy as the daughter of one Jeremiah Ludlow and Rene Martin, a 
widow at. the time of her birth, and as being a free white woman, and her father a 
free white man. Violet is about instituting legal proceedings for her freedom." — 
Slireveport Southicestern. 

" Some days since, a woman named Pelasgie was arrested as a fugitive slave, 
who has lived for more than twelve years in this city as a free woman. She was 
so nearly white that few could detect any traces of her African descent. She was 
arrested at the instance of a man named Raby, who claimed her as belonging to an 
estate of which he is heir-at-law. She was conveyed to the First District guard- 
house for safe keeping, and while there she stated to Acting Recorder Filleul that 
she was free, had never belonged to Raby, and had been in the full and unquestioned 
enjoyment of her freedom in this city for the above-mentioned period. She also 
stated that she had a house, well furnished, which she was in the habit of letting 
out in rooms." — New Orleans Picayune. 

p 2 



212 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

children were weaker or more subject to disease than others. 
He thought that perhaps they did not have so many children 
as the pure negroes, but he had supposed the reason to be 
that they did not begin bearing so young as the others, and 
this was because they were more attractive to the men, and 
perhaps more amorous themselves. He knew a great many 
mulattoes living together, and they generally had large and 
healthy families. 

Afterwards, at one of the plantation nurseries, where there 
were some twenty or thirty infants and young children, a 
number of whom were evidently the offspring of white fathers, 
I asked the nurse to point out the healthiest children to me, 
and of those she indicated more were of the pure than of the 
mixed breed. I then asked her to show me which were the 
sickliest, and she did not point to any of the latter. I then 
asked if she noticed any difference in this respect between the 
black and the yellow children. " Well, dey do say, master, 
dat de yellow ones is de sickliest, but I can't tell for true dat 
I ever see as dey was." 

Being with the proprietor and the manager together, I 
asked about the religious condition of the slaves. There were 
" preachers " on the plantations, and they had some religious 
observances on a Sunday ; but the preachers were the worst 
characters among them, and, they thought, only made their 
religion a cloak for habits of especial depravity. They were, 
at all events, the most deceitful and dishonest slaves on the 
plantation, and oftenest required punishment. The negroes 
of all denominations, and even those who ordinarily made no 
religious pretensions, would join together in exciting religious 
observances. They did not like to have white men preach on 
the estate ; and in future they did not intend to permit them 
to do so. It excited the negroes so much as to greatly inter- 
fere with the subordination and order which were necessary 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OP SLAVES. 213 

to obtain the profitable use of their labour. They would be 
singing and dancing every night in their cabins, till dawn of 
day, and utterly unfit themselves for work. 

With regard to the religious instruction of slaves, widely 
different practices of course prevail. There are some slave- 
holders, like Bishop Polk of Louisiana,* who oblige, and 
many others who encourage, their slaves to engage in re- 
ligious exercises, furnishing them certain conveniences for the 
purpose. Among the wealthier slaveowners, however, and 
in all those parts of the country where the enslaved portion 
of the population outnumbers the whites, there is generally 
a visible, and often an avowed distrust of the effect of 
religious exercises upon slaves, and even the preaching of 
white clergymen to them is permitted by many with re- 
luctance. The prevailing impression among us, with regard 
to the important influence of slavery in promoting the spread 
of religion among the blacks, is an erroneous one in my opinion. 
I have heard northern clergymen speak as if they supposed 

* " Bishop Polk, of Louisiana, was one of the guests. He assured me that he 
had been all over the country on Red River, the scene of the fictitious sufferings of 
' Uncle Tom,' and that he had found the temporal and spiritual welfare of the 
negroes well cared for. He had confirmed thirty black persons near the situation 
assigned to Legree's estate. He is himself the owner of four hundred slaves, 
whom he endeavours to bring up in a religious manner. He tolerates no religion 
on his estate but that of the Church. He baptizes all the children, and teaches 
them the Catechism. All, without exception, attend the Church service, and the 
chanting is creditably performed by them, in the opinion of their owner. Ninety 
of them are communicants, marriages are celebrated according to the Church 
ritual, and the state of morals is satisfactory. Twenty infants had been baptized 
by the bishop just before his departure from home, and he had left his whole 
estate, his keys, &c, in the sole charge of one of his slaves, without the slightest 
apprehension of loss or damage. In judging of the position of this Christian 
prelate as a slave-owner, the English reader must bear in mind that, by the laws 
of Louisiana, emancipation has been rendered all but impracticable, and, that, if 
practicable, it would not necessarily be, in all cases, an act of mercy or of justice." 
— The Western World Revisited. By the Rev. Henry Caswall, M.A., author of 
"America and the American Church," etc, Oxford, John Henry Parker, 1854. 



214 



COTTON AND SLAVERY. 



a regular daily instruction of slaves in the truths of Chris- 
tianity to be general. So far is this from being the case, that 
although family prayers were held in several of the fifty 
planters' houses in Mississippi and Alabama, in which I passed 
a night, I never in a single instance saw a field-hand attend 
or join in the devotion of the family. 

In South Carolina, a formal remonstrance, signed by over 
three hundred and fifty of the leading planters and citizens, 
was presented to a Methodist clergyman who had been chosen 
by the Conference of that State, as being a cautious and 
discreet person, to preach especially to slaves. It was his 
purpose, expressly declared beforehand, to confine himself to 
verbal instruction in religious truth. " Verbal instruction," 
replied the remonstrants, "will increase the desire of the 
black population to learn. * * * Open the missionary sluice, 
and the current will swell in its gradual onward advance. 
We thus expect a progressive system of improvement will be 
introduced, or will follow from the nature and force of cir- 
cumstances, which, if not checked (though it may be shrouded 
in sophistry and disguise), will ultimately revolutionize our 
civil institutions . ' ' 

The missionary, the Eev. T. Tupper, accordingly retired 
from the field. The local newspaper, the Grenville Moun- 
taineer, in announcing his withdrawal, stated that the great 
body of the people were manifestly opposed to the religious 
instruction of their slaves, even if it were only given orally. 

Though I do not suppose this view is often avowed, or 
consciously held by intelligent citizens, such a formal, distinct, 
and effective manifestation of sentiment made by so important 
an integral portion of the slaveholding body, cannot be sup- 
posed to represent a merely local or occasional state of mind ; 
and I have not been able to resist the impression, that even 
where the economy, safety, and duty of some sort of religious 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OF SLAVES. 215 

education of the- slaves is conceded, so much caution, reserva- 
tion, and restriction is felt to be necessary in their instruction, 
that the result in the majority of cases has been merely to 
furnish a delusive clothing of Christian forms and phrases to 
the original vague superstition of the African savage. 

In the county of Liberty, in Georgia, a Presbyterian 
minister has been for many years employed exclusively in 
labouring for the moral enlightenment of the slaves, being 
engaged and paid for this especial duty by their owners. 
From this circumstance, almost unparalleled as it is, it may 
be inferred that the planters of that county are, as a body, 
remarkably intelligent, liberal, and thoughtful for the moral 
welfare of the childlike wards Providence has placed under 
their care and tutorship. According to my private in- 
formation, there is no body of slaveowners more, if any as 
much so, in the United States. I heard them referred to 
with admiration of then reputation in this particular, even as 
far away as Virginia and Kentucky. I believe, that in no 
other district has there been displayed as general and long- 
continued an interest in the spiritual well-being of the negroes. 
It must be supposed that nowhere else are their circumstances 
more happy and favourable to Christian nurture.* 

* In White's ' Statistics of Georgia' (page 377), the citizens of Liberty county 
are characterized as " unsurpassed for the great attention paid to the duties of 
religion." — Dr. Stevens, in his ' History of Georgia,' describes them as "worthy of 
their sires," who were, " the moral and intellectual nobility of the. province," 
" whose accession was an honour to Georgia, and has ever proved one of its 
richest blessings." — In the biography of General Scrivens the county of Liberty is 
designated " proud spot of Georgia's soil !" — Dr. J. M. B. Harden, in a medical 
report of the county, says : " The use of intoxicating drinks has been almost entirely 
given up " by its people. — White says (' Statistics,' p. 373), " The people of Liberty, 
from their earliest settlement, have paid much attention to the subject of 
education. Excellent schools are found in different portions of the county, and it 
is believed a greater number of young men from Liberty graduate at our colleges 
than from any [other] section of Georgia. Indeed, it has been proverbial for fur- 
nishing able ministers and instructors." 



21 i) COTTON AND SLAVER?. 

After labouring thirteen years with a zeal and judgment 
which had made him famous, this apostle to the slaves of 
Liberty was called to the professorship of theology in the 
University of South Carolina. On retiring from his field of 
labour as a missionary, he addressed a valedictory sermon to 
his patrons, which has been published. While there is no 
unbecoming despondency or absence of proper gratitude for 
such results as have rewarded his protracted labour, visible in 
this document, the summing up is not such as would draw 
unusual cheers if given in the report of an African missionary 
at the Tabernacle or Exeter Hall. Without a word on which 
the most vigilant suspicion could rest a doubt of his entire 
loyalty to the uttermost rights of property which might be 
claimed by those whom he addressed, he could not avoid 
indicating, in the following passages, what he had been 
obliged to see to be the insurmountable difficulty in the way 
of any vital elevation of character among those to whom he 
had been especially charged to preach the Gospel wherewith 
Christ blessed mankind : — 



"They [his pastoral charge] are, in the language of Scripture, 'your 
money.' 1 They are the source, the means of your wealth ; by their labour 
do you obtain the necessaries, the conveniences, and comforts of life. 
The increase of them is the general standard of your worldly prosperity : 
without them you would be comparatively poor. They are consequently 
sought after and desired as property, and when possessed, must he so taken 
care of and managed as to be made profitable. 

" Now, it is exceedingly difficult to use them as money ; to treat them 
as property, and at the same time render to them that which is just and 
equal as immortal and accountable beings, and as heirs of the grace of life, 
equally with ourselves. They are associated in our business, and thoughts, 
and feelings, with labour, and interest, and gain, and wealth. Under the 
influence of the powerful feeling of self-interest, there is a tendency to 
view and to treat them as instruments of labour, as a means of wealth, and 
to forget or pass over lightly, the fact that they are what they are, under 
the eye and government of God. There is a tendency to rest satisfied 
with very small and miserable efforts for their moral improvement, and to 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OF SLAVES. 217 

give one's self but little trouble to correct immoralities and reform wicked 
practices and habits, should they do their work quietly and profitably, and 
enjoy health, and go onto multiply and increase upon the earth." 

This is addressed to a body of "professing evangelical 
Christians," in a district in which more is done for the 
elevation of the slaves than in any other of the South. 
What they are called to witness from then own experience, as 
the tendency of a system which recognizes slaves as absolute 
property, mere instruments of labour and means of wealth, 
"exceedingly difficult" for them to resist, is, I am well con- 
vinced, the entirely irresistible effect upon the mass of 
slaveholders. Fearing that moral and intellectual culture 
may injure their value as property, they oftener interfere to 
prevent than they endeavour to assist their slaves from using 
the poor opportunities that chance may throw in their way. 

Moreover, the missionary adds: — 

" The current of the conversation and of business in society, in respect 
to negroes, runs in the channel of interest, and thus increases the blind- 
ness and insensibility of owners. * * * And this custom of society acts also 
on the negroes, who, seeing, and more than seeing, feeling and knowing, 
that their owners regard and treat them as their money — as 'property only — ■ 
are inclined to lose sight of their better character and higher interests, 
and, in their ignorance and depravity, to estimate themselves, and religion, 
and virtue, no higher than their owners do." 

Again, from the paramount interest of owners in the 
property quality of these beings, they provide them only such 
accommodations for spending the time in which they are not 
actively employed, as shall be favourable to their bodily 
health, and enable them to comply with the commandment, 
to " increase and multiply upon the earth," without regard 
to their moral health, without caring much for their obe- 
dience to the more pure and spiritual commands of the 
Scriptures. 



218 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

"The consequent mingling up of husbands and wives, children and 
youths, banishes the privacy and modesty essential to domestic peace and 
purity, and opens wide the door to dishonesty, oppression, violence, and 
profligacy. The owner may see, or hear, or know little of it. His servants 
may appear cheerful, and go on in the usual way, and enjoy health, and do 
his will, yet their actual moral state may be miserable. * * * If family 
relations are not preserved ct'id protected, we cannot look for any considerable 
degree of moral and religious improvement." 

It must be acknowledged of slavery, as a system, not only 

in Liberty county, but as that system finds tlie expression of 

the theory on which it is based in the laws of every Southern 

State, that family relations are not preserved and protected 

under it. As we should therefore expect, the missionary 

finds that 

" One of the chief causes of the immorality of negroes arises from the 
indifference both of themselves and of their owners to family relations." 

Large planters generally do not allow their negroes to 
marry off the plantation to which they belong, conceiving 
" that their own convenience and interest, and," says the 
missionary, " the comfort and real happiness of their people" 
are thereby promoted. Upon this point, however, it is but 
just to quote the views of the editor of the Southern Agricul- 
turist, who, in urging planters to adopt and strictly main- 
tain such a regulation, say3 : " If a master has a servant, 
and no suitable one of the other sex for a companion, he 
had better give an extra price for such an one as his would 
be willing to marry, than to have one man owning the 
husband, and the other the wife." 

But this mode of arranging the difficulty seems not to have 
occurred to the Liberty county missionary ; and while 
arguing against the course usually pursued, he puts the 
following, as a pertinent suggestion : — - 

"Admitting that they are people having their preferences as well as 
others, and there be a supply, can that love which is the foundation and 
essence of the marriage state be force,d?" 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OF SLAVES. 219 

Touching honesty and thrift among the negroes, he says : 

" While some discipline their people for every act of theft committee! 
against their interests, they have no care whatever what amount of pilfering 
and stealing the people carry on among themselves. Hence, in some places, 
thieves thrive and honest men suffer, until it becomes a practice ' to keep 
if you can what is your own, and get all you can besides that is your 
neighbour's. Things come to such a pass, that the saying of the negroes 
is literally true, 'The people live upon one another.' " 

Eeferring to the evil of intemperance, it is observed : 

" Whatever toleration masters use towards ardent spirits in others, they 
are generally inclined to use none in respect to their servants; and in 
effecting this reformation, masters and mistresses should set the example ; 
for without example, precepts and persixasions are powerless. Nor 
can force effect this reformation as surely and perfectly as persuasion 
—appealing to the character and happiness of the servant himself, the 
appeal recognizes him in such a manner as to produce self-respect, and it 
tends to give elevation of conduct and character. I will not dwell upon 
this point." 

He will not dwell on this point ; yet, is it not evident that 
until this point can be dwelt upon, all effort for the genuine 
Christianization of the negro race in the South must be 
ineffectual ? 

The benefit to the African which is supposed to be in- 
cidental to American slavery, is confessedly proportionate to 
the decree in which he is forced into intercourse with a 
superior race and made subject to its example. Before I 
visited the South, I had believed that the advantages ac- 
cruing from slavery, in tins way, far outweighed the 
occasional cruelties, and other evils incidental to the system. 
I found, however, the mental and moral condition of the ne- 
groes, even in Virginia, and in those towns and districts con- 
taining the largest proportion of whites, much lower than I had 
anticipated ; and as soon as I had an opportunity to examine 
one of the extensive plantations of the interior, although one 



220 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

inherited by its owner, and the home of a large and virtuous 
white -family, I was satisfied that the advantages arising to 
the blacks from association with their white masters were 
very inconsiderable, scarcely appreciable, for the great majority 
of the field-hands. Even the overseer had barely acquaint- 
ance enough with the slaves, individually, to call them by 
name ; the owner could not determine if he were addressing 
one of his own chattels, or whether it was another man's 
property, he said, when by chance he came upon a negro off 
the work. Much less did the slaves have an opportunity to 
cultivate their minds by intercourse with other white people. 
Whatever of civilization, and of the forms, customs, and shib- 
boleths of Christianity, they were acquiring by example, and 
through police restraints, might, it occurred to me, after all, 
but poorly compensate the effect of the systematic withdrawal 
from them of all the usual influences which tend to nourish 
the moral nature and develope the intellectual faculties, in 
savages as well as in civilized free men. 

This doubt, as my Northern friends well know, for I had 
habitually assumed the opposite, in all previous discussions of 
the slavery question, was unexpected and painful to me. I 
resisted it long, and it was not till I had been more than 
twelve months in the South, with my attention constantly 
fixed upon the point, that I ceased to suspect that the cir- 
cumstances which brought me to it were exceptional and 
deceptive. It grew constantly stronger with every op- 
portunity I had of observing the condition, habits, and 
character of slaves whom I could believe to present fair 
examples of the working of the system with the majority of 
those subject to it upon the large plantations. 

The frequency with which the slaves use religious phrases 
of all kinds, the readiness with which they engage in what 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OF SLAVES. 221 

are deemed religious exercises, and fall into religious ecstacies. 
with the crazy, jocular manner in which they often talk of 
them, are striking and general characteristics. It is not at 
all uncommon to hear them refer to conversations which they 
allege, and apparently believe themselves to have had with 
Christ, the apostles, or the prophets of old, or to account for 
some of their actions by attributing them to the direct influ- 
ence of the Holy Spirit, or of the devil. It seems to me that 
this state of mind is fraught with more danger to their 
masters than any to which they could possibly have been 
brought by general and systematic education, and by the un- 
restricted study of the Bible, even though this involved what 
is so much dreaded, but which is, I suspect, an inevitable ac- 
companiment of moral elevation, the birth of an ambition to 
look out for themselves. Grossly ignorant and degraded in 
mind, with a crude, undefined, and incomplete system of 
theology and ethics, credulous and excitable, intensely super- 
stitious and fanatical, what better field could a cunning mono- 
maniac or a sagacious zealot desire in which to set on foot an 
appalling crusade ? 

The African races, compared with the white, at least with 
the Teutonic, have greater vanity or love of approbation, a 
stronger dramatic and demonstrative character, more excita- 
bility, less exact or analytic minds, and a nature more sen- 
suous, though (perhaps from want of cultivation) less refined. 
They take a real pleasure, for instance, such as it is a rare 
thing for a white man to be able to feel, in bright and strongly 
contrasting colours, and in music, in which nearly all are 
proficient to some extent. They are far less adapted for 
steady, uninterrupted labour than we are, but excel us in feats 
demanding agility and tempestuous energy. A Mississippi 
steamboat manned by negro deck-hands will wood up a third 
quicker than one manned by the same number of whites ; but 



222 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

white labourers of equal intelligence and under equal stimulus 
will cut twice as much wood, split twice as many rails, and 
hoe a third more corn in a day than negroes. On many 
plantations, religious exercises are almost the only habitual 
recreation not purely sensual, from steady dull labour, in 
which the negroes are permitted to indulge, and generally all 
other forms of mental enjoyment are discouraged. Eeligious 
exercises are rarely forbidden, and a greater freedom to indi- 
vidual impulse and talent is allowed while engaged in them 
than is ever tolerated in conducting mere amusements or edu- 
cational exercises. 

Naturally and necessarily all that part cf the negro's 
nature which is otherwise suppressed, bursts out with an in- 
tensity and vehemence almost terrible to witness, in forms of 
religious worship and communion; and a "profession" of 
piety which it is necessary to make before one can take a very 
noticeable part in the customary social exercises, is almost 
universal, except on plantations where the ordinary tumul- 
tuous religious meetings are discouraged, or in towns where 
other recreations are open to the slaves.* 

Upon the value of the statistics of " coloured church mem- 
bership," which are often used'as evidence that the evils of 

* The following newspaper paragraph indicates the wholesale way in which 
slaves may be nominally Christianized : — 

" Revival among the Slaves. — Rev. J. M. C. Breaker, of Beaufort, S.C., 
writes to the Southern Baptist, that within the last three months he has baptized by 
immersion three hundred and fifty persons, all of them, vith a few exceptions, 
negroes. These conversions were the result of a revival which has been in progress 
during the last six mouths. On the 12th inst., he baptized two hundred and 
twenty-three converts — all blacks but three — and the ceremony, although 
performed with due deliberation, occupied only one hour and five minutes. This 
is nearly four a minute, and Mr. Breaker considers it a demonstration that the 
three thousand converted on the day of Pentecost could easily have been baptized 
by the twelve apostles — each taking two hundred and fifty — in an hour and 
thirteen minutes." 



RELIGTOCJS INSTlttTCTION OF SLAVES. 223 

slavery are fully compensated by its influence in Christianiz- 
ing the slaves, some light is thrown by the following letter 
from the white pastor of a town church hi that part of the 
South in which the whites are most numerous, and in which 
the negroes enjoy the most privileges. 

" To the Editor of the Richmond (Virginia) Religious Herald. 

* * * "The truth is, the teachings of the pulpit (at least among 
Baptists) have nothing to do with the matter. Let me furnish a case in 
proof. Of two churches which the writer serves, his immediate predecessor 
was pastor for about twenty-five years. It would be only necessary to 
give his name, to furnish the strongest and most satisfactory assurance 
that nothing which ever fell from his lips could be construed into the 
support of ignorance, superstition, or fanaticism. During the five or six 
years I have served these churches, whatever may have been my errors 
and failings (and I am ready to admit that tliey have been numerous and 
grievous enough, in ail conscience), I know I have never uttered a senti- 
ment which could be tortured into the support of the superstitions pre- 
vailing among the coloured people. And yet in both these churches, the 
coloured members are as superstitious and fanatical as they are elsewhere. 
Indeed, this was to be expected, for I certainly claim no superiority over 
sny brethren in the ministry, and I am satisfied that many of them are far 
better qualified than I am to expose error and to root out superstition. 
This state of things, then, is not due to the teachings of the pulpit. Nor 
is it the result of private instructions by masters. Indeed, these last have 
been afforded so sparingly, till within a few years since, that they could 
produce but little effect of any sort. And, besides, those who own ser- 
vants, and are willing to teach them, are far too intelligent to countenance 
superstition in any way. I repeat the inquiry, then, Why is it that so 
many of oui' coloured members are ignorant, superstitious, and fanatical ? 
It, is the effect of instructions received from leading men among them- 
selves, and the churches are responsible for this effect, in so far as they 
receive into fellowship those who have listened to these instructions, 
ground their hopes upon them, and guide their lives by them. Whatever 
we may say against superstition, so long as we receive into our churches 
those who are its slaves, they will believe that we think them Christians ; 
and naturally relying on our judgment as expressed by their reception, 
they will live deluded, aud die but to be lost. 

"But some one will say, 'We never receive coloured persons when they 
manifest these superstitions — when they talk of visions, dreams, sounds,' etc. 
This is right as far &a it goes. Li every such case they should be 
lejected. But superstition of a f.ital character often exists where nothing 



22-1 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

is said about dreams and visions. It is just as fatally superstitious to trust 
in prayers and feelings, as in dreams and visions. And this is the sort of 
■superstition which now prevails among the coloured people. They have 
found that sights and sounds will not answer before the whites, and now 
(•reserving these, perhaps, for some chosen auditory of their own colour), 
they substitute prayers and feelings. In illustration permit me to record, 
in no spirit of levity, the stereotyped experience which generally passes 
current, and, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, introduces the coloured 
candidate into the church. The pastor is informed, by one of the 'coloured 
deacons,' that a man wishes to offer to the church wifh a view to baptism. 
The fact is announced, a meeting of the church called, and the candidate 
comes forward. 

" Pastor. — ' Well, John, tell me in a few words, in your own way, your 
religious experience. What have been your feelings, and what are your 
present hopes and purposes?' 

" John. — ' I see other people trying, and so I thought I would try too, as 
I had a soul to save. So I went to pray, and the more I pray the wus I 
felt ; so I kept on praying, and the more I pray the wus I felt. I felt 
heavy — I felt a weight — and I kept on praying till at last I felt light — 
I felt easy — I felt like I loved all Christian people — I felt like I loved 
everybody.' 

" Now this is positively the whole of the experience which is generally 
related by coloured candidates for baptism. There may be a slight varia- 
tion of expression now and then, but the sense is almost invariably the 
same. On this experience, hundreds have been received into the churches 
— I Lave received many upon it myself. I am somewhat curious to know 
how many of the seventy, baptized by my good brother Eagby, told this 
tale. 1 11 warrant not less than fifty. Have any of us been right in re- 
ceiving persons on such a relation as this? In the whole of it, there is 
not one word of gospel, not one word about sorrow for sin, not one word 
about faith, not one word about Christ. I know that all these things 
are subsequently brought out by questions ; and were this not the case, I 
have no idea that the candidate would be in any instance received. But 
that these questions may be understood, they are made necessarily ' leading 
questions,' such as suggest their answers ; and consequently these answers 
are of comparatively little value. * * * I am aware that, as brother Bagby 
suggests, private instructions by masters have been too much neglected. 
But these can accomplish but little good, so long as they are counteracted by 
the teachings of leading coloured members, in whose views, after all our efforts, 
the coloured people icill have most confidence." 

Not the smallest suggestion, I observe, in all the long 
article from which the above is derived, is ventured, that the 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OF SLAVES. 225 

negroes are capable of education, or that their religious con- 
dition would improve if their general enlightenment of mind 
were not studiously prevented. 

" I have often heard the remark made," says the Rev. 
C. C. Jones, in a treatise on the " Keligious Instruction of 
Slaves," printed at Savannah, Georgia, 1842, "by men 
whose standing and office in the churches afforded them 
abundant opportunity for observation, that the more they 
have had to do with coloured members, the less confidence 
they have been compelled to place in their Christian pro- 
fessions." 

A portion of a letter written for publication by the wife of 
the pastor of a church in the capital of Alabama, given below, 
naively reveals the degree of enlightenment prevailing among 
the Christianized Africans at a point where their means of in- 
struction are a thousand times better than they are on an 
average throughout the country. 

" Having talked to him seriously, and in the strongest light held up to 
him the eno?mity of the crime of forsaking his lawful wife and taking 
another, Colly replied, most earnestly, and not taking in at all the idea of 
guilt, hut deeply distressed at having offended his master : 

" ' Lor, Massa Harry, what was I to do, sir ? She tuk all I could git, 
and more too, sir, to put on her hack ; and tellin' de truf, sir, dress herself 
as no poor man's wife hav' any right to. I 'monstrated wid her, massa, hut to 
no purpose ; and den, sir, w'y I jis did all a decent man could do — lef ' her, 
sir. for some oder nigger better off 'an I is.' 

" Twas no use. Colly could not be aroused to conscientiousness on the 
subject. 

" Not one in a thousand, I suppose, of these poor creatures have any 
conception whatever of th*§ sanctity of marriage ; nor can they be made 
to have ; yet, strange to say, they are perfect models of conjugal fidelity 
and devotion while the temporary bondage lasts. I have known them to 
walk miles after a hard day's work, not only occasionally, but every night, 
to see the old woman, and cut her wood for her, etc. But to see the cool- 
ness with which they throw off the yoke is diverting in the extreme. 

" I was accosted one morning in my husband's study by a respectable- 
looking negro woman, who meekly inquired if Mr. B. was at home. 
VOL. II. 



226 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

" ' No, lie is not. Is it anything particular you want ? —perhaps I cam 
help you.' 

" ' Yes, ma'am ; it's partickler business wid himself.' 

" Having good reason to believe it was the old story of a ' mountain in 
labour and brought forth a mouse,' I pressed the question, partly to save 
my better half some of the petty annoyances to which he was almost daily 
subjected by his sable flock, and partly, I own, to gratify a becoming and 
laudable curiosity, after all this show of mystery. Behold the answer in 
plain English, or rather nigger English. 

'" I came to ask, please ma'am, if I might have another husband.' 

" Just at this crisis the oracle entered, who, having authority by a few 
spoken words, to join together those whom no man may put asunder, these 
poor people simply imagine him gifted with equal power to annul the con- 
tract with a breath of his mouth. 

" I was heartily amused to find that this woman was really no widow, as 
I had supposed, but merely from caprice, or some reason satisfactory to 
herself, no doubt, took it into her head to drop her present spouse and 
look out for another. The matter was referred to the ' Quarterly Con- 
ference,' where an amusing scene occurred, which resulted in the dis- 
comfiture of the disconsolate petitioner, who returned to her home rather 
crest-fallen. 

"These Quarterly Conference debates, for flights of oratory, and superla- 
tiveness of diction, beggar all description. Be it understood, that negroes, 
as a class, have more ' business ' it) attend to than any other people— that 
is, provided they can thereby get a chance to ' speak 'fore white folks.' To 
make a speech is glory enough for Sambo, if he happen to have the 'gift 
of gab ;' and to speak before the preacher is an honour unparalleled. And, 
by the way, if the preacher have will and wit enough to manage and 
control the discordant elements of a negro Quarterly Conference, he will 
be abundantly rewarded with such respect and gratitude as a man seldom 
may lay claim to. They account him but a very little ' lower than the 
angels ;' and their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honour, are equally 
lis at command. But wo be to the unfortunate pastor who treats them 
with undue indulgence ; they will besiege him daily and hourly with their 
pe.tly ; ffairs, and their business meetings will be such a monopoly of bis 
t aie and patience, that but for the farcical character of the same, making 
t'.em more like dramatic entertainments than saber realities, he would he 
in despair. Far into the short hours of morning will they speechify and 
magnify, until nothing but the voice of stern authority, in a tone of corn- 
ier.. d not to be mistaken, can stop the current." 

An Alabama gentleman -whom I questioned with regard to 
the chastity of the so-called pions slaves, confessed, that four 
negro women had borne children in his own house, all of 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OF SLAVES. 227 

them at the time members in good standing of the Baptist 
church, and none of them calling any man husband. The 
only negro man in the house was also a church member, and 
lie believed that he was the father of the four children. He 
said that he did not know of more than one negro woman 
whom he could suppose to be chaste, yet he knew hosts who 
were members of churches.* 

A Northern clergyman who had been some years in 
another town in Alabama, where also the means of instruction 
offered the slaves were unusually good, answered my inquiry, 
What proportion of the coloured members of the churches in 
the town had any clear comprehension of the meaning of the 
articles of faith \yhich they professed ? " Certainly not more 
than one in seven." 

The acknowledgment that "the coloured people will, in 
spite of all our efforts, have more 'confidence in the views of 
leading coloured members," made by the writer of the letter 
taken from the " Religious Herald," has been generally made 
by all clergymen at the South with whom I have conversed. 
A clergyman of the Episcopal Church, of very frank and 
engaging manners, said in my presence that he had been 
striving for seven years to gain the confidence of the small 
number of Africans belonging to his congregation, and with 
extreme humility he had been lately forced to acknowledge 
that all his apparent success hitherto had been most delusive. 

* "A small farmer," who "lias had control of negroes for thirty years and 
lias been pursuing his piesent system with them for twenty years," and who "own- 
ing but a few slaves is able," as he observes, " to do better by them " than large 
planters, writing to Mr. De Bow, says: " I have tried faithfully to break up immo- 
rality. I have not known an oath to be sworn for a long time. I know of no 
quaneiliug, no calling harsh names, and but little stealing. Habits of amalga- 
mation, I cannot stop. I can only check it in name. I am willing to be taught, 
for I have tiied everything I know." He has his field-negroes attend his own 
family prayers on Sunday, prayer meetings at four o'clock Sunday mornings, etc, — 
De Bow's Resources, vol. ii., p. 337, 

Q 2 



228 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

When asked how he accounted for it, he at once ascribed it 
to the negro's habitual distrust of the white race, and in 
discussing the causes of this distrust he asked how, if he pre- 
tended to believe that the Bible was the Word of God, 
addressed equally to all the human race, he could explain to 
a negro's satisfaction why he should fear to put it directly 
into his hands and instruct him to read it and judge for him- 
self of his duty ? A planter present, a member of his chinch, 
immediately observed that these were dangerous views, and 
advised him to be cautious in the expression of them. The 
laws of the country forbade the education of negroes, and the 
church was, and he trusted always would remain, the bulwark 
of the laws. The clergyman replied that he had no design 
to break the laws, but he must say that he considered that 
the law which withheld the Bible from the negro was un- 
necessary and papistical in character.* 

The " Methodist Protestant," a religious newspaper 
edited by a clergyman, in Maryland, where the slave popu- 
lation is to the free only in the ratio of one to twenty-five, 
lately printed an account of a slave auction in Java (trans- 
lated from a Dutch paper), at which the father of a slave 
family was permitted to purchase his wife and children at a 
nominal price, owing to the humanity of the spectators. The 
account concluded as follows : — 

" It would be difficult to describe the joy experienced by these slaves 
on hearing the fall of the hammer which thus gave them their liberty ; 



* The " Southern Presbyterian," in reviewing some observations made before 
a South Carolina Bible Society, in which it had been urged that if slaves were 
permitted to read the Bible, they would learn from it to be more submissive to the 
authority which the State gives the master over them, says that the speaker 
" seems to be uninformed of the fact that the Scriptures are read in our churches 
every Sabbath dav, and those very passages which inculcate the relative duties of 
masters and servants in consequence of their textual, i. e. legally prescribed connec- 
tions, are more frequently read than any other portions of the Bible." 



RELIGI INSTRUCTION OF SLAVES. 229 

and this joy was furthu xmented by the presents given them by num- 
bers of the speetators, iiii. -rder that they might be able to obtain a sub- 
sistence till such time as tt.cy could procure employment. 

" These are the acts of a noble generosity that deserves to be remem- 
bered, and which, at the same time, testify that the inhabitants of Java 
begin to abhor the crying injustice of slavery, and are willing to entertain 
measures for its abolition." 

To give currency to such ideas, even in Maryland, would 
be fatal to what ministers call their " influence," and which 
they everywhere value at a rather dangerous estimate ; ac- 
cordingly, in the editorial columns prominence is given to the 
following salve to the outraged sensibilities of the subscribers : 

"SLAVE AUCTION IN JAVA. 

" A brief article, with this head, appears on the fourth page of our paper 
this week. It is of a class of articles we never select, because they are very 
( ''ten manufactured by paragraplrists for a purpose, and are not reliable. 
It was put in by our printer in place of something we had marked out. 
We did not see this objectionable substitute until the outside form was 
worked off, and are therefore not responsible for it."* 

The habitual caution imposed on clergymen and public 
teachers must, and obviously does have an important second- 
ary effect, similar to that usually attributed by Protestants to 
papacy, upon the minds of all the people, discountenancing 
and retarding the free and fearless exercise of the mind upon 
subjects of a religious or ethical nature, and the necessity of 
accepting and apologizing for the exceedingly low morality of 
the nominally religious slaves, together with the familiarity 
with this immorality which all classes acquire, renders the 
existence of a very elevated standard of morals among the 
whites almost an impossibility. t 

In spite of the constant denunciations by the Southern 

* Oiganized action for the abolition of slavery in the island of Java, has since 
been authentically reported. 

f Twice it happened to come to my knowledge that sons of a planter, by whom 
I was lodged while on this journey — lads of fourteen or sixteen — who were supposed 
to have slept in the same room with me, really spent the night, till after daybreak, 
in the negro cabins. A southern merchant, visiting New York, to whom I ex- 



230 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

newspapers, of those who continued to patronize Northern 
educational institutions, I never conversed with a cultivated 
Southerner on the effects of slavery, that he did not express a 
wish or intention to have his own children educated where 
they should he free from demoralizing association with slaves. 
That this association is almost inevitably corrupting and 
dangerous, is very generally (I may say, excepting by the 
extremest fanatics of South Carolina, universally) admitted. 
Now, although the children of a few wealthy men may, for 
a limited period, be preserved from this danger, the children 
of the million cannot be. Indeed it requires a man of some 
culture, and knowledge of the rest of the world, to appreciate 
the danger sufficiently to guard at all diligently against it. 
If habitual intercourse with a hopelessly low and immoral 
class is at all bad in its effects on young minds, the people 
of the South are, as a people, educated subject to this bad 
influence, and must bear the consequences. In other words, 
if the slaves must not be elevated, it would seem to be a 
necessity that the citizens should steadily degenerate, 

Change and grow more marked in their peculiarities with 
every generation, they certainly do, very obviously. " The 
South " has a traditional reputation for qualities and habits in 



pressed the view I had been led to form of the evil of slavery in this way, replied 
that he thought I over-estimated the evil to boys on the plantations, but that it 
was impossible to over-estimate it in towns. " I have personal knowledge," he 
continued, " that there are but two lads, sixteen years old, in our town, [a small 
market town of Alabama,] who have not already had occasion to resort to remedies 
for the penalty of licentiousness." " When on my brother's plantation, just beibie 
I came North," said another Southern merchant, on his annual visit to New York, 

" I was informed that each of his family-servants were suffering from , and I 

ascertained that each of my brother's children, girls and boys, had been informed 
of it, and knew how and from whom it had been acquired. The negroes being 
their familiar companions, I tried to get my brother to send them North with me 
to school. I told him he might as well have them educated in a brothel at once, 
as in the way they were growing up." 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OF SLAVES. 231 

which I tliink the Southern people, as a whole, are to-day 
more deficient than any other nation in the world. The 
Southern gentleman, as we ordinarily conceive him to be, is 
as rare a phenomenon in the South at the present day as is 
the old squire of Geoffry Crayon in modern England. But 
it is unnecessary to argue how great must be the influence, 
upon people of a higher origin, of habitual association with 
a race systematically kept at the lowest ebb of intellect and 
morals. It has been elaborately and convincingly described 
by Mr. Jefferson, from his personal experience and observation 
of his neighbours. What he testified to be the effect upon 
the Virginians, in his day, of owning and associating with 
slaves, is now to be witnessed to a far greater and more 
deplorable extent throughout the whole South, but most 
deplorably in districts where the slave population predomi- 
nates, and where, consequently, the action of slavery has been 
most unimpeded.* 

* Jefferson fails to enumerate, among the evils of slavery, one of its influences 
which I am inclined to think as distinct and as baneful to us nationally as any 
other. How can men retain the most essential quality of true manhood who 
daily, without remonstrance or interference, see men beaten, whose position renders 
effective resistance totally impracticable — and not only men, but women, too ! Is 
it not partially the result of this, that self-respect seldom seems to suggest to an 
angry man at the South that he should use anything like magnanimity? tliat he 
should be careful to secure fair play for his opponent in a quarrel ? A gentleman 
of veracity, now living in the South, told me that among his friends he had once 
numbered two young men, who were themselves intimate fiiends, till one of them, 
taking offence at some foolish words uttered by the other, challenged him. A 
large crowd assembled to see the duel, which took place on a piece of prairie 
ground. The combatants came armed with rifles, and at the fiist interchange 
of shots the challenged man fell disabled by a ball in the thigh. The other, throw- 
ing down his rifle, walked toward him, and kneeling by his side, drew a bowie 
knife, and deliberately butchered him. The crowd of bystanders not only per- 
mitted this, but the execrable assassin still lives in the community, has since 
married, and, as far as my informant could judge, his social position has been 
rather advanced than otherwise, from thus dealing with his enemy. In what 
other English — in what other civilized or half-civilized community would such 
cowardly atrocity have been endured ? 



232 COTTON AND SLAVEBY. 

What proportion of the larger cotton plantations are 
resided upon by their owners, I am unable to estimate with 
confidence. Of those having cabin accommodations for fifty 
slaves each, which came under my observation from the road, 
while I was travelling through the rich cotton district border- 
ing the Mississippi river, I think more than half were un- 
provided with a habitation which I could suppose to be the 
ordinary residence of a man of moderate wealth. I should 
judge that a large majority of all the slaves in this district, 
were left by their owners to the nearly unlimited government 
of hireling overseers the greater part of the time. Some of 
these plantations are owned by capitalists, who reside per- 
manently and constantly in the North or in Europe. Many 
are owned by wealthy Virginians and Carolinians, who reside 
on the " show plantations " of those States — country seats, 
the exhausted soil of which will scarcely produce sufficient 
to feed and clothe the resident slaves, whose increase is 
constantly removed to colonize these richer fields of the 
West. 

A still larger number are merely occasional sojourning 
places of their owners, who naturally enough prefer to live, 
as soon as they can afford to do so, where the conveniences 
and luxuries belonging to a highly civilized state of society 
are more easily obtained than they can ever be in a country 
of large plantations. It is rare that a plantation of this class 
can have a dozen intelligent families residing within a day's 
ride of it. Any society that a planter enjoys on his estate 
must, therefore, consist in a great degree of permanent 
guests. Hence the name for hospitality of wealthy planters. 
A large plantation is necessarily a retreat from general 
society, and is used by its owner, I am inclined to think, in 
the majority of cases, in winter, as Berkshire villas and farms 
are in summer by rich people of New York and Boston. I 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OF SLAVERY. 2'33 

have never been on a plantation numbering fifty field-hands, 
tbe owner of which was accustomed to reside steadily through 
the year upon it. Still I am aware that there are many such, 
and possibly it is a minority of them who are regularly absent 
with their families from their plantations during any consider- 
able part of the year. 

The summer visitors to our Northern watering places, 
and the European tourists, from the South, are, I judge, 
chiefly of the migratory, wealthy class. Such persons, it is 
evident, are much less influenced in their character and 
habits, by association with slaves, than any other at the 
South. 

The number of the very wealthy is, of course, small, yet 
as the chief part of the wealth of these consists in slaves, no 
inconsiderable proportion of all the slaves belong to men who 
deputize their government in a great measure to overseers. 
It may be computed, from the census of 1850, that about one 
half the slaves of Louisiana and one third that of Mississippi, 
belong to estates of not less than fifty slaves each, and of 
these, I believe, nine-tenths live on plantations which their 
owners reside upon, if at all, but transiently. 

The number of plantations of this class, and the propor- 
tion of those employed upon them to the whole body of 
negroes in the country, is, as I have said, rapidly increasing 
At the present prices of cotton the large grower has such ad- 
vantages over the small, that the owner of a plantation of 
fifty slaves, favourably situated, unless he lives very reck- 
lessly, will increase in wealth so rapidly and possess such 
a credit that he may very soon establish or purchase other 
plantations, so that at his death his children may be provided 
for without reducing the effective force of negroes on any divi- 
sion of his landed estate. The excessive credit given to such 
planters by negro dealers and tradesmen renders this the 



234 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

more practicable. The higher the price of cotton the higher 
is that of negroes, and the higher the price of negroes the 
less is it in the power of men of small capital to buy them. 
Large plantations of course pay a much larger per centaga 
on the capital invested in them than smaller ones ; indeed 
the only plausible economical defence of slavery is simply 
an explanation of the advantages of associated labour, advan- 
tages which are possessed equally by large manufacturing 
establishments in which free labourers are brought together 
and employed in the most effective manner, and which I 
can see no sufficient reason for supposing could not be made 
available for agriculture did not the good results flowing 
from small holdings, on the whole, counterbalance them. 
If the present high price of cotton and the present scarcity 
of labour at the South continues, the cultivation of cotton 
on small plantations will by-and-by become unusual, for the 
same reason that hand-loom weaving has become unusual in 
the farm houses of Massachusetts. 

- Bnt whatever advantages large plantations have, they 
accrue only to their owners and to the buyers of cotton ; the 
mass of the white inhabitants are dispersed over a greater 
surface, discouraged and driven toward barbarism by them, 
and the blacks upon them, while rapidly degenerating from 
all that is redeeming in savage-life, are, it is to be feared, 
gaining little that is valuable of civilization. 

In the report of the Grand Jury of Eichlaud District, 
South Carolina, in eighteen hundred and fifty-four, calling 
for a re-establishment of the African slave trade,* it is 
observed : " As to the moralty of this question, it is scarcely 
necessary for us to allude to it ; when the fact is remarked 

* Richland District contains seven thousand white, and thirteen thousand slave 
population. The Report is published in the Charleston Standard, October 12th, 
1854. 



THE PROPERTY ASPECT OF SLAVERY. .235 

that the plantations of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and 
Texas have been and are daily settled by the removal of 
slaves from the more northern of the Slave States, and that 
in consequence of their having been raised in a more healthy 
climate and in most cases trained to pursuits totally different, 
the mortality even on the best-ordered farms is so great that 
in many instances the entire income is expended in the 
purchase of more slaves from the same source in order to 
replenish and keep up those plantations, while in every ease 
the condition of the slave, if his life is spared, is made worse 
both physically and morally. * * * And if you look at the 
subject in a religious point of view, the contrast is equally 
striking, for "when you remove a slave from the more northern 
to the more southern parts of the slaveholding States, you 
thereby diminish his religious opportunities." 

I believe that this statement gives an exaggerated and 
calumnious report of the general condition of the slaves upon 
the plantations of the States referred to — containing, as they 
do, nearly one half of the whole slave population of the South 
— but I have not been able to resist the conviction that in 
the districts where cotton is now grown most profitable to 
the planters, the oppression and deterioration of the negro 
race is much more lamentable than is generally supposed 
by those who like myself have been constrained, by other con- 
siderations, to accept it as a duty to oppose temperately but 
determinately the modern policy of the South, of which this 
is an immediate result. Its effect on the white race, I still 
consider to be infinitely more deplorable. 



236 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 



CHAPTER VI. 

SLAVEEY AS A POOR-LAW SYSTEM. 

In the year 1846 the Secretary of the Treasury of the 
United States addressed a circular of inquiries to persons 
engaged in various businesses throughout the country, to ob- 
tain information of the national resources. In reply to this 
circular, forty-eight sugar-planters, of St. Mary's Parish, 
Louisiana, having compared notes, made the following state- 
ment of the usual expenses of a plantation, which might be 
expected to produce, one year with another, one hundred 
hogsheads of sugar : — 

Household and family expenses . . . . . . . . $ 1 , 000 

Overseer's salary . . . . . . . . . . . . 400 

Food and clothing for 15 working hands, at $30 .. 450 

Food and clothing for 15 old negroes and children, at $ 15 225 
lg per cent, on capital invested (which is about $40,000), 

to keep it in repair . . . . . . . . . . 600 



2,675 



50 hogsheads sugar, at 4 cents per pound (net 

proceeds) $2,000 

25 hogsheads sugar, at 3 cents per pound (net 

proceeds) .. .. .. .. .. 750 

25 hogsheads sugar, at 2 cents per pound (net 

proceeds) 500 

4,000 gallons of molasses, at 10 cents .. .. 400 

3,650 



Leaving a profit of . . .. .. .. .. .. $975 



SLAVERY AS A POOR-LAW SYSTEM. 



237 



Another gentleman furnished the following estimate of the 
expenses of one of the larger class of plantations, working one 
hundred slaves, and producing, per annum, four to five 
hundred hogsheads of sugar : — 

Overseer $1,500 

Physician's attendance (by contract, $3 a head, of all 

ages) 300 

Yearly repairs to engine, copper work, resetting of sugar 

kettles, etc., at least 900 

Engineer, during grinding season . . . . . . 200 

Pork, 50 pounds per day— say, per annum, 90 hogs- 
heads, at $12 1,080 

Hoops 80 

Clothing, two full suits per annum, shoes, caps, hats, 

and 100 blankets, at least $15 per slave .. .. 1,500 

Mules or horses, and cattle to replace, at least . . . . 500 

Implements of husbandry, iron, nails, lime, etc., at least 1 , 000 

Factor's commission, 2 J per cent. .. .. .. 500 

$7,560 

(It should be noticed that in this estimate the working 
force is considered as being equal, in first-class hands, to but 
one- third of the whole number of slaves.) 

In the report of an Agricultural Society, the work of one 
hand, on a well-regulated sugar-estate, is put down at the 
cultivation of five acres — producing 5,000 pounds of sugar, 
and 125 gallons of molasses ; the former valued on the spot 
at 5 J cents per pound, and the latter at 18 cents per gallon 
— together, g 297.50. The annual expenses, per hand, in- 
cluding wages paid, horses, mules, and oxen, physician's bills, 
etc., gl05. An estate of eighty negroes annually costs 
B 8,330. The items are as follows — Salt meat and spirits, 
g 830 ; clothing, $ 1,200 ; medical attendance and medi- 
cines, $400 ; Indian corn, $1,090 (total for food and drink 
of negroes, and other live stock, $24 per head of the negroes, 
per annum. For clothing $15) ; overseer and sugar-maker's 



238 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

salary, £1,000 ; taxes £300. The capital invested in 1,200 
acres of land, with its stock of slaves, horses, mules, and 
working oxen, is estimated at £147,200. One-third, or 400 
acres, being cultivated annually in cane, it is estimated, will 
yield 400,000 pounds, at U cents, and 10,000 gallons 
molasses at 18 cents — together £23,800. Deduct annual 
expense, as before, £8,330, an apparent profit remains of 
£15,470 or 10 3-7 per cent, interest on the investment. 
The crop upon which these estimates were based, has been 
considered an uncommonly fine one. 

These estimates are all made by persons anxious to maintain 
the necessity of protection to the continued production of sugar 
in the United States, and who are, therefore, under strong 
temptation to over-estimate expenditures. 

In the first statement, the cost of clothing and boarding a 
first-rate, hard- working man is stated to be £30 a year. A 
suit of winter clothing and a pair of trousers for summer, a 
blanket for bedding, a pair of shoes and a hat, must all at 
least be included under the head of clothing; and these, 
however poor, could not certainly cost, altogether, less than 
£10. For food, then, £20 a year is a large estimate, which 
is 5J cents, a day. This is for the best hands ; light hands 
are estimated at half this cost. Does the food of a first-rate 
labourer, anywhere in the free world, cost less ? The lowest 
price paid by agricultural labourers in the Free States of 
America for board is 21 cents a day, that is, £1.50 a week; 
the larger part probably pay at least twice as much as this. 

On most plantations, I suppose, but by no means on all, the 
slaves cultivate "patches," and raise poultry for themselves. 
The produce is nearly always sold to get money to buy to- 
bacco and Sunday finery. But these additions to the usual 
allowance cannot be said to be provided for them by their 
masters. The labour expended in this way for themselves 



SLAVERY AS A POOR-LAW SYSTEM. 289 

does not average half a day a week per slave; and many 
planters will not allow their slaves to cultivate patches, be- 
cause it tempts them to reserve for and to expend in the 
night-work the strength they want employed in their service 
during the day, and also because the produce thus obtained is 
made to cover much plundering of their master's crops, and 
of his live stock.* The free labourer also, in addition to his 
board, nearly always spends something for luxuries — tobacco, 
fruit, and confections, to say nothing of .dress and luxuries 
and recreations. 

The fact is, that ninety-nine in a hundred of our free 
labourers, from choice and not from necessity — for the same 
provisions cost more in Louisiana than they do anywhere in 
the Northern States— live, in respect to food, at least four 
times as well as the average of the hardest-worked slaves on 
the Louisiana sugar-plantations. And for two or three months 
in the year I have elsewhere shown that these are worked 
with much greater severity than free labourers at the North 
ever are. For on no farm, and in no factory, or mine, even 
when double wages are paid for nights work, did I ever hear 
of men or women working regularly eighteen hours a day. 
If ever done, it is only when some accident makes it especially 
desirable for a few days. 

I have not compared the comfort of the light hands, in 
which, besides the aged and children, are evidently included 

* " Most persons allow their negroes to cultivate a small crop of their own. 
For a number of reasons the practice is a bad one. It is next to impossible to 
keep them from working the crop on the Sabbath. They labour at night when 
they should be at rest. There is no sa\ ing more than to give them the s-ame 
amount ; for, like all other animals, the negro is only capable of doing a certain 
amount of work without injuiy. To this point he may be worked at his regular 
task, and any labour beyond this is an injury to both master and slave. They will 
pilfer to add to what cotton or corn they have made. If they sell the crop and 
trade for themselves, they are apt to be cheated out of a good portion of their 
labour. They will have many things in their possession, under colour of purchases, 
which we know not tvhethei Lhe\ have oained honestly." — Southern Cultivator, 



240 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

most of the females of the plantation, with that of factory 
girls and apprentices ; hut who of those at the North was 
ever expected to find board at four cents a day, and obliged to 
save money enough out of such an allowance to provide him 
or herself with clothing ? But that, manifestly and beyond 
the smallest doubt of error (except in favour of free labour), 
expresses the condition of the Louisiana slave. Forty-eight 
of the most worthy planters of the State attest it in an official 
document, published by order of Congress. 

There is no reason for supposing that the slaves are much, 
if any, better fed elsewhere than in Louisiana. I was ex- 
pressly told in Virginia that I should find them better fed in 
Louisiana than anywhere else. In the same Report of Mr. 
Secretary Walker, a gentleman in South Carolina testifies 
that he considers that the " furnishing " (food and clothing) 
of " full-tasked hands " costs #15 a year.* 

The United States army is generally recruited from our 
labouring class, and a well-conditioned and respectable 
labourer is not very often induced to join it. The following, 
taken from an advertisement, for recruits, in the Richmond 
Enquirer, shows the food provided : 

" Daily Rations. — One and a quarter pounds of beef, one 
and three-sixteenths pounds of bread ; and at the rate of 
eight quarts of beans, eight pounds of sugar, four pounds of 
coffee, two quarts of salt, four pounds of candles, and four 
pounds of soap, to every hundred rations." 

From an advertisement for slaves to be hired by the year, 
to work on a canal, in the Daily Georgian : 

" Weekly Allowance. — They will be provided with three 
and a half pounds of pork or bacon, and ten quarts of gourd 
seed corn per week, lodged in comfortable shanties, and 
attended by a skilful physician." 

* P. W. Fraser, p. 574, Pub. Doc. VI., 1846. 



SLAVERY AS A POOR-LAW SYSTEM. 241 

The expense of boarding, clothes, taxes, and so forth, of a * 
male slave, is estimated by Kobert C. Hall, a Maryland 
planter, at g 45 per annum ; this in a climate but little 
milder than that of New York, and in a breeding state. By 
J. D. Messenger, Jerusalem, Yirginia : " The usual estimate 
for an able-bodied labourer — three barrels of corn, and 250 
pounds of well-cured bacon, seldom using beef or pork ; peas 
and potatoes substitute about one-third the allowance of 
bread" (maize). By B. G. Morris, Amherst County, Va. : 
"Not much beef is used on our estates; bacon, however, is 
used much more freely, three pounds a week being the usual 
allowance. The quantity of milk used by slaves is frequently 
considerable."— Pat Office Report, 1848." 

On the most valuable plantation, with one exception, 
which I visited in the South, no meat was regularly provided 
for the slaves, but a meal of bacon was given them " oc- 
casionally." 

Louisiana is the only State in which meat is required, by 
law, to be furnished the slaves. I believe the required ration 
is four pounds a week, with a barrel of corn (flour barrel of 
ears of maize) per month, and salt. (This law is a dead 
letter, many planters in the State making no regular pro- 
vision of meat for their force.) In North Carolina the law 
fixes " a quart of corn per day " as the proper allowance of 
food for a slave. In no other States does the law define the 
quantity, but it is required, in general terms, to be sufficient 
for the health of the slave ; and I have no doubt that suf- 
fering from want of food is rare. The food is everywhere, 
however, coarse, crude, and wanting in variety; much more 
so than that of our prison convicts. 

Does argument, that the condition of free-labourers is, on 
the whole, better than that of slaves, or that simply they are 
generally better fed, and more comfortably provided, seem to 

VOL. II. r 



242 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

any one to be unnecessary ? Many of our newspapers, of the 
largest circulation, and certainly of great influence among 
people — probably not very reflective, but certainly not fools — 
take the contrary for granted, whenever it suits their purpose. 
The Southern newspapers, so far as I know, do so, without 
exception. And very few Southern writers, on any subject 
whatever, can get through a book, or even a business or 
friendly letter, to be sent North, without, in some form or 
other, asserting that Northern labourers might well envy the 
condition of the slaves. A great many Southern gentlemen — 
gentlemen whom I respect much for their moral character, if 
not for their faculties of observation — have asserted it so 
strongly and confidently, as to shut my mouth, and by 
assuring me that they had personally observed the condition 
of Northern labourers themselves, and really knew that I was 
wrong, have for a time half convinced me against my long 
experience. I have, since my return, received letters to the 
same effect : I have heard the assertion repeated by several 
travellers, and even by Northerners, who had resided long in 
the South : I have heard it publicly repeated in Tammany 
Hall, and elsewhere, by Northern Democrats : I have seen it 
in European books and journals : I have, in times past, taken 
its truth for granted, and repeated it myself. Such is the 
effect of the continued iteration of falsehood. 

Since my return I have made it a subject of careful and 
extended inquiry. I have received reliable and unprejudiced 
information in the matter, or have examined personally the 
food, the wages, and the habits of the labourers in more than 
one hundred different farmers' families, in every Free State 
(except California), and in Canada. I have made personal 
observations and inquiries of the same sort in Great Britain, 
Germany, France, and Belgium. In Europe, where there are 
large landed estates, which are rented by lordly proprietors to 



SLAVERY AS A POOR-LAW SYSTEM. 243 

the peasant farmers, or where land is divided into such small 
portions that its owners are unable to make use of the Lest 
modern labour-saving implements, the condition of the 
labourer, as respects food, often is as bad as that of the slave 
often is — never worse than that sometimes is. But in gene- 
ral, even in France, I do not believe it is generally or fre- 
quently worse ; I believe it is, in the large majority of cases, 
much better than that of the majority of slaves. And as 
respects higher things than the necessities of life — in their 
intellectual, moral, and social condition, with some exceptions 
on large farms and large estates in England, bad as is that 
of the mass of European labourers, the man is a brute or a 
'devil who, with my information, would prefer that of the 
American slave. As to our own labourers, in the Free 
States, I have already said enough for my present purpose. 

But it is time to speak of the extreme cases, of which so 
much use has been made, in the process of destroying the 
confidence of the people of the United States in the freedom 
of trade, as applied to labour. 

In the year 1855, the severest winter ever known occmred 
at New York, in conjunction with unprecedentedly high 
prices of food and fuel, extraordinary business depression, 
unparalleled marine disasters, and the failure of establishments 
employing large numbers of men and women. At the same 
time, there continued to arrive, daily, from five hundred to 
one thousand of the poorer class of European peasantry. 
Many of these came, expecting to find the usual demand and 
the usual reward for labour, and were quite unprepared to 
support themselves for any length of time unless they could 
obtain work and wages. There was consequently great 
distress. 

We all did what we thought we could, or ought, to relieve 
it ; and with such success, that not one single case of actual 

r 2 



244 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

starvation is known to have occurred in a close compacted 
population of over a million, of which it was generally re- 
ported fifty thousand were out of employment. Those who 
needed charitable assistance were, in nearly every case, recent 
foreign immigrants, sickly people, cripples, drunkards, or 
knaves taking advantage of the public benevolence, to neglect 
to provide for themselves. Most of those who received 
assistance would have thrown a slave's ordinary allowance 
in the face of the giver, as an insult ; and this often occurred 
with more palatable and suitable provisions. Hundreds and 
hundreds, to my personal knowledge, during the worst of this 
dreadful season, refused to work for money-wages that would 
have purchased them ten times the slave's ordinary allowance 
of the slave's ordinary food. In repeated instances, men who 
represented themselves to be suffering for food refused to 
work for a dollar a day. A labourer, employed by a neigh- 
bour of mine, on wages and board, refused to work unless he 
was better fed. " What's the matter," said my neighbour ; 
" don't you have enough ?" " Enough ; yes, such as it is." 
" You have good meat, good bread, and a variety of vege- 
tables ; what do you want else ?" " Why, I want pies and 
puddings, too, to be sure." Another labourer left another 
neighbour of mine, because, as he alleged, he never had any 
meat offered him except beef and pork ; he " didn't see why 
he shouldn't have chickens." 

And these men went to New York, and joined themselves 
to that army on which our Southern friends exercise their 
pity — of labourers out of work — of men who are supposed to 
envy the condition of the slave, because the " slave never dies 
for want of focd."* 

* Among the thousands of applicants for soup, and bread, and fuel, as charity, 
I never saw, during " the famine " in New York, one negro. Five Points Pease 
said to me, " The negro seems to be more provident than the Celt. The poor 



SLAVERY AS A POOR-LAW SYSTEM. 



245 



In the depth of winter, a trustworthy man wrote us from 
Indiana : — 

" Here, at Rensselaer, a good mechanic, a joiner or shoemaker, for 
instance — and numbers are needed here — may obtain for his labour in 
one week : 



2 bushels of corn. 
1 bushel of wheat. 
5 pounds of sugar. 
| pound of tea. 
10 pounds of beef. 



25 pounds of pork. 
1 good turkey. 
3 pounds of butter. 
1 pound of coffee. 
1 bushel of potatoes. 



and have a couple of dollars left in his pocket, to start with the next 

Monday morning." 

The moment the ice thawed in the spring, the demand for 
mechanics exceeded the supply, and the workmen had the 
master-hand of the capitalists. In June, the following rates 
were willingly paid to the different classes of workmen — some 
of the trades heing on strike for higher : — 



Dollars per 
Week. 

Boiler- maker 12 to 20 

Blacksmith 12 to 20 

Baker 9 to 14 

Barber 7 to 10 

Bricklayer 14 to 15 

Boat-builder 15 

Cooper 8 to 12 

Carpenter (house) .... 15 

Confectioner 8 to 12 

Cigar-maker 9 to 25 

Car-driver (city cars) .. 10 

Car-conductor „ .. 10£ 

Engineer, common .. 12 to 15 

Engineer, locomotive .. 15 



Dollars per 
Week. 
Harness-maker .. .. 10 

Mason 10 to 15 

Omnibus-driver .. .. 10 

Printer 10 to 25 

Plumber 15 

Painter (house) .... 15 

Pianoforte maker .. .. 10 to 14 



Shipwright 

Ship-caulker 

Ship-fastener 

Shoemaker 

Sign painter 25 to 30 

Sail-maker 15 

Tailor 8 to 17 



18 

18 
IS 
16 



blacks always manage to keep themselves more decent and comfortable than the 
poor whites. They very rarely complain, or aak for charity ; and 1 have often 
found them sharing their food with white people, who were too poor to provide ibr 
themselves." A great deal of falsehood is circulated and accredited about the 
sufferings of the free negroes at the North. Their condition is bad enough, but no 
worse than that of any men educated and treated as they are, must be; and it is, 
on an average, far better than that of the slave. 



246 



COTTON AND SLAVERY. 



At this time I engaged a gardener, who had been hoarding 
for a month or two in New York, and paying for his board 
and lodging $ 3 a week. I saw him at the dinner-table of 
his boarding house, and I knew that the table was better 
supplied with a variety of wholesome food, and was more 
attractive, than that of the majority of slaveowners with 
whom I have dined. 

Amasa Walker, formerly Secretary of State in Massachu- 
setts, is the authority for the following table, showing the 
average wages of a common (field-hand) labourer in Boston 
(where immigrants are constantly arriving, and where, con- 
sequently, there is often a necessity, from their ignorance and 
accidents, of charity, to provide for able bodied persons), and 
the prices of ten different articles of sustenance, at three 
different periods : — 



Wages of Labour and Food 


at Boston. 






1K36. 

Wages. 
gl-25 per day. 


1S40. 

Wages. 

#1 per day. 


1843. 

AVages. 

$1 per day. 




Dollars. 
9-50 
2-25 
4-25 
4-50 
1 75 
1-25 
96 
1-08 
6 "60 
2-00 


Dollars. 
5-50 
2 00 
2-70 
8-50 
1-50 
1-00 
65 
83 
4-80 
100 


Dollars. 
4-75 


25 lbs. sugar, at 9c. . . 
10 gals, molasses, 42 Jc. 
100 lbs pork 




1-62 
1-80 
5-00 


14 lbs. coffee, 12£c. .. 




5-00 
75 


I bushel corn meal . . 

1 do rye meal . . 
30 lbs. butter, 22c. . . 
20 lbs. cheese, 10c. . . 




62 

73 

4-20 

1-40 






44-00 


28-98 


22-00 



This shows that in 1836 it required the labour of thirty- 
four and a half days to pay for the commodities mentioned ; 
while in 1840 it required only the labour of twenty-nine days, 
and in 1843 that of only twenty-three and a half days to pay 



SLAVERY AS A POOR-LAW SYSTEM. 247 

for the same. If we compare the ordinary allowance of food 
given to slaves per month — as, for instance, sixteen pounds 
pork, one bushel corn meal, and, say one quart of molasses 
on an average, and a half pint of salt — with that which it 
is shown by this table the free labourer is usually able to 
obtain by a month's labour, we can estimate the comparative 
general comfort of each. 

I am not all disposed to neglect the allegation that there 
is sometimes great suffering among our free labourers. Our 
system is by no means perfect ; no one thinks it so : no one 
objects to its imperfections being pointed out. There was no 
subject so much discussed in New York that winter as the 
causes, political and social, which rendered us liable to have 
labourers, under the worst possible combination of circum- 
stances, liable to difficulty in procuring satisfactory food. 

But this difficulty, as a serious thing, is a very rare and 
exceptional one (I speak of the whole of the Free States) : 
that it is so, and that our labourers are ordinarily better fed 
and clothed than the slaves, is evident from their demands 
and expectations, when they are deemed to be suffering. 
When any real suffering does occur, it is mainly a conse- 
quence and a punishment of their own carelessness and im- 
providence, and is in the nature of a remedy. 

And in every respect, for the labourer, the competitive 
system, in its present lawless and uncertain state, is far 
preferable to the slave system ; and any labourer, even if he 
were a mere sensualist and materialist, would be a fool to 
wish himself a slave. 

One New York newspaper, having a very large circulation 
at the South, but a still larger at the North, in discussing 
this matter, last winter, fearlessly and distinctly declared — as 
if its readers were expected to accept the truth of the asser- 
tion at once, and without argument — that the only sufficient 



248 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

prevention of destitution among a labouring class was to be 
found in slavery ; that there was always an abundance of food 
in the Slave States, and hinted that it might yet be necessary, 
as a security against famine, to extend slavery over the pre- 
sent Free States. This article is still being copied by the 
Southern papers, as testimony of an unwilling witness to the 
benevolence and necessity of the eternal slavery of working 
people. 

The extracts following, from Southern papers, will show 
what has occurred in the slave country in the meanwhile : 

" For several weeks past, we have noticed accounts of distress among 
the poor in some sections of the South, for the want of bread, particularly 
in Western Georgia, East and Middle Alabama. Over in Coosa, corn-cribs 
are lifted nightly ; and one poor fellow (corn thief) lately got caught 
between the logs, and killed ! It is said there are many grain-hoarders in 
the destitute regions, awaiting higher prices ! The L — d pity the poor, 
for his brother man will not have any mercy upon his brother." — Pickens 
Republican, Carrolton, Ala., June 5, 1855. 

" We regret that we are unable to publish the letter of Governor Wins- 
ton, accompanied by a memorial to him from the citizens of a portion of 
Randolph county, showing a great destitution of breadstuff's in that sec- 
tion, and calling loudly for relief. 

" The Claiborne Southerner says, also, that great destitution in regard 
to provisions of all kinds, especially corn, prevails in some portions of 
Perry county.'' — Sunny South, Jacksonville, Ala., May 26, 1855. 

"As for wheat, the yield in Talladega, Tallapoosa, Chambers, and Ma- 
con, is better even than was anticipated. Flour is still high, but a fort- 
night will lower the price very materially. We think that wheat is bound 
to go down to $1*25 to $1-50 per bushel, though a fine article commands 
now $2'25. 

"Having escaped famine — as we hope we have — we trust the planting 
community of Alabama will never again suffer themselves to be brought 
so closely in view of it. Their want of thrift and foresight has come 
remarkably near placing the whole country in an awful condition. It is 
only to a kind Providence that we owe a deliverance from a great cala- 
mity, which would have been clearly the result of man's short-sighted- 
ness." — Montgomery Mail, copied in Savannah Georgian, June 25, 1S55. 

" Wheat crops, however, are coming in good, above an average ; but 
oats are entirely cut off. I am issuing commissary, this week for the 



SLAVERY AS A POOR-LAW SYSTEM. 249 

county, to distribute some corn bought by the Commissioner s Court, for 
the destitute of our county ; and could you have witnessed the applicants, 
and heard their stories, for the last few days, I am satisfied you could 
draw a picture that would excite the sympathy of the most selfish heart. 
I am free to confess that I had no idea of the destitution that prevails in 
this county. Why, sir, what do you think of a widow and her children 
living, for three days and nights, on boiled weeds, called pepper grass ? — 
yet such, I am credibly informed, has been the case in Chambers County." 
— From a letter to the editor of the Montgomery (Ala.) Journal, from Hon. 
Samuel Pearson, Judge of Probate, for Chambers County, Alabama. 

" Famine in Upper Georgia. — We have sad news from the north part 
of Georgia. The Dalton Times says that many people are without corn, 
or means to procure any. And, besides, there is none for sale. In some 
neighbourhoods, a bushel could not be obtained for love or money. Poor 
men are offering to work for a peck of corn a day. If they plead, ' Our 
children will starve,' they are answered, 'So will mine, if I part with the 
little I have.' Horses and mules are turned out into the woods-, to wait 
for grass, or starve. The consequence is, that those who have land can 
only plant what they can with the hoe — they cannot plough. It is seri- 
ously argued that, unless assisted soon, many of the poor class of that 
section will perish. ' — California Paper* 

No approach to anything like such a state of things as 
those extracts portray (which extended over parts of three 
agricultural States) ever occurred, I am sure, in any rural 
district of the Free States. Even in our most thickly- 
peopled manufacturing districts, to which the staple articles 
of food are brought from far-distant regions, assistance from 
abroad, to sustain the poor, has never been asked ; nor do I 
believe the poor have ever been reduced, for weeks together, 
to a diet of corn. But this famine at the South occurred in 
a region where most productive land can be purchased for 
from three to seven dollars an acre ; where maize and wheat 

* In the obscure country papers of Northern Alabama and Georgia, and 
Western South Carolina, 1 have seen many more descriptions, similar to these, or 
this famine ; but I cannot now lay my hand on them. These I have by accident, 
not having taken pains to collect them for this purpose. In a district of the Slave 
States, where it is boasted that more than a hundred bushels of maize to the acre 
has been raised, and where not one out of five hundred of the people is engaged in 
any other than agricultural industry, I have myself bought maize, which had been 
raised by free labour, in Ohio, at two dollars a btishel. 



250 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

grow kindly ; where cattle, sheep, and hogs, may he pastured 
over thousands of acres, at no rent ; where fuel has no value, 
and at a season of the year when clothing or shelter is hardly 
necessary to comfort. 

It is a remarkable fact that this frightful famine, un- 
precedented in North America, was scarcely noticed, in the 
smallest way, by any of those Southern papers which, in the 
ordinary course of things, ever reach the North. In the 
Charleston, Savannah, and Mobile papers, received at our 
commercial reading-rooms, I have not been able to find any 
mention of it at all — a single, short, second-hand paragraph 
in a market report excepted. But these journals had columns 
of reports from our papers, and from their private corre- 
spondents, as well as pages of comment, on the distress of 
the labourers in New York City the preceding winter. 

In 1837, the year of repudiation in Mississippi, a New 
Orleans editor describes the effect of the money-pressure upon 
the planters, as follows : — 

" They are now left without provisions, and the means of living and 
using their industry for the present year. In this dilemma, planters, 
whose crops have been from 100 to 700 hales, find themselves forced to 
sacrifice many of their slaves, in order to get the common necessaries of 
life, for the support of themselves and the rest of their negroes. In many 
places, heavy planters compel their slaves to fish for the means of subsist- 
ence, rather than sell them at such ruinous rates. There are, at this 
moment, thousands of slaves in Mississippi, that know not where the next 
morsel is to come from. The master must be ruined, to save the wretches 
from being starved." 

Absolute starvation is as rare, probably, in slavery, as in 
freedom ; but I do not believe it is more so. An instance is 
just recorded in the. New Orleans Delta. Other papers 
omit to notice it — as they usually do facts which it may be 
feared will do discredit to slavery— and even the Delta, as 
will be seen, is anxious that the responsibility of the publica- 
tion should be fixed upon* the coroner: 



SLAVERY AS A POOR-LAW SYSTEM. 251 

"Inquest.— Death from neglect and starvation. — The body of an old 
negro, named Bob, belonging to Mr. S. B. Davis, was found lying dead in 
the woods, near Marigny Canal, on the Gentilly Koad, yesterday. The 
coroner held an inquest ; and, after hearing the evidence, the jury re- 
turned a verdict of 'Death from starvation and exposure, through neglect 
of his master.' It appeared from the evidence that the negro was too old 
to work any more, being nearly seventy ; and so they drove him forth into 
the woods to die. He had been without food for forty-eight hours, when 
found by Mr. Wilbank, who lives near the place, and who brought him 
into his premises on a wheelbarrow, gave him something to eat, and en- 
deavoured to revive his failing energies, which had been exhausted from ex- 
posure and want of food. Every effort to save his life, however, was un- 
availing, and lie died shortly after being brought to Mr. Wilbank's. The 
above statement we publish, as it was furnished us by the coroner." — 
Sept. 18, 1S55. 

This is the truth, then — is it not ? — The slaves are gene- 
rally sufficiently well-fed to be in tolerable working condition; 
but not as well as our free labourers generally are : slavery, 
in practice, affords no safety against occasional siiffering for 
want of food among labourers, or even against their starva- 
tion any more than the competitive system ; while it withholds 
all encouragement from the labourer to improve his faculties 
and his skill ; destroys his self-respect ; misdirects and de- 
bases his ambition, and withholds all the natural motives 
which lead men to endeavour to increase their capacity of 
usefulness to their country and the world. To all this, the 
occasional suffering of the free labourer is favourable, on the 
whole. The occasional suffering of the slave has no such 
advantage. To deceit, indolence, malevolence, and thievery, 
it may lead, as may the suffering — though it is much less 
likely to — of the free labourer ; but to industry, cultivation of 
skill, perseverance, economy, and virtuous habits, neither the 
suffering, nor the dread of it as a possibility, ever can lead 
the slave, as it generally does the free labourer, unless it is by 
inducing him to run away. 



252 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 



CHAPTEE VII. 

COTTON SUPPLY AND WHITE LABOUR IN THE COTTON CLIMATE. 

Mr. Eussell,* although, he clearly sees the calamity of the 
South, fully accepts the cotton planter's opinion, that, after all, 
the system of slavery is a necessary evil attending upon the 
great good of cheap cotton. He says : "If the climate had 
admitted of the growing of cotton on the banks of the Ohio, 
we should have seen that slavery possessed as great advantages 
over free labour in the raising of this crop as it does in that of 
tobacco." If this is so, it is important that it should be well 
understood why it is so as precisely as possible. 

In his Notes on Maryland, Mr. Eussell (p. 141) says : 
" Though a slave may, under very favourable circumstances, 
cultivate twenty acres of wheat and twenty acres of Indian 
corn, he cannot manage more than two acres of tobacco. The 
cultivation of tobacco, therefore, admits of the concentration of 
labour, and thus the superintendence and management of a 
tobacco plantation will be more perfect and less expensive than 
a corn one." And this is the only explanation he offers of the 
supposed advantage of slave labour in the cultivation of to- 
bacco (and of consequence in the cultivation of cotton). The 
chief expense of raising Indian corn is chargeable to planting 
and tillage, that of tobacco to the seedbed, the transplanting 
and nursing of the young plants (which is precisely similar 
to the same operation with cabbages), the hand- weeding, the 

* " North America, its Agriculture and Climate," by Robert Eussell, Kilwhiss. 
Edinburgh : Adam and Charles Black, 1 R57. 



THE QUESTION OF COTTON SUPPLY. 253 

hoeing after the plant has " become too large to work without 
injuring the leaves by the swingle-trees of a horse plough ;"* 
" the topping," " the suckering," the selection and removal of 
valueless leaves, and " the worming," all of them, except 
hoeing, being operations which can be performed by children 
and child-bearing women, as they usually are in Virginia.! 

The chief expense of raising cotton, as of Indian corn, is 
that of planting and tillage. The principal difference between 
the method of tillage of cotton and that of 'Indian corn is 
occasioned by the greater luxuriance of weeds in the Southern 
climate and the slow growth of the cotton plant in its early 
stages, which obliges the tillage process to be more carefully 
and more frequently performed. For this reason, the area of 
cotton cultivated by each labourer is less than of corn. The 
area of corn land to a hand is much over-estimated by Mr. 
Eussell. On the other hand, the only mention he makes of 
the area of cotton land to a hand (being the statement of a 
negro) would lead to the conclusion that it is often not over three 
acres, and that five acres is extraordinary. Mr. De Bow says,! 
in an argument to prove that the average production per acre 
is over-estimated, "In the real cotton region, perhaps the 
average number of acres per hand is ten." 

Mr. Iiussell observes of worming and leafing tobacco : 
" These operations can be done as well, and consequently as 
cheaply, by women and children as by full-grown men." 
(Page 142.) After reading Mr. Russell's views, I placed 
myself, through the kindness of Governor Chase, in commu- 
nication with the Ohio Board of Agriculture, from which I 
have obtained elaborate statistics, together with reports on 
the subject from twelve Presidents or Secretaries of County 
Agricultural Societies, as well as from others. These gentle- 

* De Bow, vol. iii., p. 34'2. f See De Bow's " Resources," art. Tobacco. 
\ Vol. i.j p. 175, " Resources." 



254 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

men generally testify that a certain amount of labour given to 
corn will be much better repaid than if given to tobacco. 
" Men are worth too much for growing corn to be employed 
in strolling through tobacco fields, looking for worms, and 
even women can, as our farmers think, find something better 
to do about the house." Children, too, are thought to be, 
and doubtless are, better employed at school in preparing 
themselves for more profitable duties, and this is probably the 
chief reason why coarse tobacco* cannot be cultivated with as 
much profit as corn in Ohio, while the want of intelligent, self- 
interested labour, is the reason why the corn-field, among the 
tall broad blades of which a man will work during much of its 
growth in comparative obscurity, cannot be cultivated with as 
much profit on soils of the same quality in Virginia as in Ohio. 
In short, a class of labourers, who are good for nothing else, 
and who, but for this, would be an intolerable burden upon 
those who are obliged to support them, can be put to some use 
in raising tobacco, and, therefore, coarse tobacco continues to 
be cultivated in some of the principal slaveholding counties 
of Virginia. But this class of labourers is of no more value 
in cotton culture than in corn culture. Mr. De Bow says : 
" The South-west, the great cotton region, is newly settled, 
and the number of children, out of all proportion, less than in 
negroes [regions ?] peopled by a natural growth of population.! 
Weak women and children are, in fact, not at all wanted for 

* In my Notes on Eastern Virginia, it was mentioned that a tolaeco planter 
informed me that he could not raise the finer sorts of tobacco with profit, because 
he could not make his slaves take pains enough with it ; and in certain localities in 
Ohio, having a favourable soil for the production of fine or high-priced tobacco, it 
appears that free labour is engaged more profitably in the cultivation of tobacco 
than in the cultivation of corn. It is the same in parts of Connecticut and of 
Massachusetts. Except in these limited districts, however, it is found that the 
labour of Ohio, as of Connecticut and Massachusetts, is more profitably directed to 
the cultivation of Indian corn and other crops than of tobacco. 

f "Resources," p. 175. 



THE QUESTION OF COTTON SUPPLY. 255 

cotton culture, the cotton planter's inquiry being exclusively 
for ' prime boys,' or ' A 1 field-hands.' " 

Thus in every way cotton culture more resembles corn cul- 
ture than it does tobacco culture. The production of corn 
is larger in the aggregate, is considerably larger j)er man 
engaged in its cultivation, and is far larger per acre in Ohio 
than in Virginia.* I should, therefore, be inclined to reverse 
Mr. Eussell's statement, and to say that if the climate had 
admitted of the growing of cotton on both banks of the Ohio, 
we should have seen that free-labour possessed as great advan- 
tages over slavery in the cultivation of cotton as of corn. 

Mr. Kussell echoes also the opinion, which every cotton 
planter is in the habit of urging, that the production of cotton 
would have been comparatively insignificant in the United 
States if it had not been for slave labour. He likewise re- 
stricts the available cotton region within much narrower 
limits than are usually given to it, and holds that the slave 
population must soon in a great measure be concentrated 
within it. As these conclusions of a scientific traveller un- 

* Virginia, with 10,360,135 acres of improved land, produced, according to the 
last census returns, 

35,254,319 bushels of corn, 
56,803,227 pounds of tobacco. 

Ohio, with 9,851,493 acres of improved land, produced 

59,078,695 bushels of corn, 
10,454,449 pounds of tobacco. 

The aggregate value of these two products alone, at present New York prices 
would be 

Ohio $5,127,223,565 

Virginia. . . . $3,564,639,385 

Actual crops per acre, on the average, as returned by the marshals for 1849-50 
(Census Compilation, p. 178) : 

Corn. Tobacco. 

Ohio ... 36 bushels . . . 730 pounds. 
Virginia .18 „ ... 630 



256 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

intentionally support a view which has been lately systemati- 
cally pressed upon manufacturers and merchants both in Great 
Britain and the Free States, namely, that the perpetuation of 
slavery in its present form is necessary to the perpetuation of 
a liberal cotton supply, and also that the limit of production 
in the United States must be rapidly approaching, and conse- 
quently that the tendency of prices must be rapidly upward, 
the grounds on which they rest should be carefully scrutinized. 
Mr. Russell says, in a paragraph succeeding the words 
just now quoted with regard to the supposed advantages of 
slave labour in raising tobacco : 

"The rich upland soils of the cotton region afford a profitable invest- 
ment for capital, even when cultivated by slaves left to the care of over- 
seers. The natural increase of the slaves, from two to six per cent., goes 
far to pay the interest of the money invested in them. The richest soils 
of the uplands are invariably occupied by the largest plantations, and the 
alluvial lands on the banks of the western rivers are so unhealthy for 
white labourers that the slaveowners occupy them without competition. 
Thus the banks of the western rivers are now becoming the great cotton- 
producing districts. Taking these facts into consideration, it appears that 
the quantity of cotton which would have been raised without slave labour 
in the United States would have been comparatively insignificant to the 
present supply."* 

The advantages of slave-labour for cotton culture seem from 
this to have been predicated mainly upon the unwholesomeness 
to free or white labourers of the best cotton lands, especially 
of the alluvial lands on the banks of rivers. Reference is 
made particularly to " the county of Washington, Mississippi 
State [which] lies between the Yazoo and Mississippi rivers. 
* * * The soil is chiefly alluvial, though a considerable 
portion is swampy and liable to be flooded. "t 

* " North America, its Climate," etc., p. 2S6. 

f De Bow's " Resources." See " Seaboard Slave States," pp. 463 and 586, for 
further southern evidence. 



THE QUESTION OF COTTON SUPPLY. 257 

Mr. Russell evidently considers that it is to this swampy con- 
dition, and to stagnant water left by floods, that the supposed 
insalubrity of this region is to be chiefly attributed. How would 
he explain, then, the undoubted salubrity of the bottom lands in 
Louisiana, which are lower than those of the Mississippi, exposed 
to a more southern sun, more swampy, and which were origi- 
nally much more frequently flooded, but having been dyked and 
" leveed," are now inhabited by a white population of several 
hundred thousand. I will refer to the evidence of an expert : — 

" Heat, moisture, animal and vegetable matter, are said to be the ele- 
ments which produce the diseases of the South, and yet the testimony in 
proof of the health of the banks of the lower portion of the Mississippi 
river is too strong to be doubted. Here is a perfectly flat alluvial country, 
covering several hundred miles, interspersed with interminable lakes, 
lagunes, and jungles, and still we are informed by Dr. Cartwright, one of 
the most acute observers of the day, that this country is exempt from mias- 
matic disorders, and is extremely healthy. His assertion has been con- 
firmed to me by hundreds of witnesses ; and we know, from our own obser- 
vation, that the population presents a robust and healthy appearance." 
(Statistics are given to prove a greater average length of life for the white 
race in the South than in the North.)— Essay on the Value of Life in 
the South, by Dr. J. C. Nott, of Alabama. 

To the same effect is the testimony of a far more trust- 
worthy scientific observer, Darby, the surveyor and geographer 
of Louisiana : — 

"Between the 9th of July, 1805, to the 7th of May, 1815, incredible as 
it may appear to many persons, I actually travelled [in Southern Alabama, 
Mississippi, Louisiana, and, what is now, Texas] twenty thousand miles, 
mostly on foot. During the whole of this period, I was not confined one 
month, put all my indispositions together, and not one moment by any 
malady attributable to climate. I have slept in the open air for weeks 
together, in the hottest summer nights, and endured this mode of life in 
the most matted woods, perhaps, in the world. During my survey of the 
Sabine river, myself, and the men that attended me, existed, for several 
weeks, on flesh and fish, without bread or salt, and without sickness of 
any kind. That nine-tenths of the distempers of warm climate may be 
guarded against, I do not harbour a single doubt. 

VOL. II. S 



258 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

" If climate operates extensively upon the actions of human beings, it is 
principally their amusements that are regulated by proximity to the 
tropics. Dancing might be called the principal amusement of both sexes, 
in Louisiana. Beholding the airy sweep of a Creole dance, the length of 
time that an assembly will preserve in the sport, at any season of the 
year, cold or warm, indolence would be the last charge that candour 
could lodge against such a people."* 

" Copying from Montesquieu," elsewhere says Mr. Darby, 
himself a slaveholder, " climate has been called upon to account 
for stains on the human character, imprinted by the hand of 
political mistake. No country where Negro Slavery is esta- 
blished but must have parts in the wounds committed on 
nature and justice." 

The miacclimated whites on the sea coast and on the river 
and bayou banks of the low country, between which and the 
sea coast there is much inter-communication, unquestionably 
suffer much from certain epidemic, contagious, and infectious 
pestilences. This, however, only renders the fact that dense 
settlements of whites have been firmly established upon them, 
and that they are remarkably exempt from miasmatic disease, 
one of more value in evidence of the practicability of white 
occupation of the upper bottom lands. There are grounds for 
doubting the common opinion that the negroes at the South 
suffer less from local causes of disease than whites. (See 

* A writer in " Household Words," speaking of the " popular fallacy that a man 
< annot do a hard day's work in the climate of India," says : — 

" I have seen as hard work, real bone and muscle work, done by citizens of the 
United Kingdom in the Cast, as was ever achieved in the cold West, and all upon 
rice and curry — not curry and rice — in which the lice has formed the real meal, 
and the curry has merely helped to give it a relish, as a sort of substantial Kitch- 
ener's zest, or Harvey's sauce. I have seen, likewise, Mooimen, Malabars, and 
others of the Indian labouring classes, perform a day's work that would terrify a 
London porter, or coal-whipper, or a country navvy, or ploughman; and under 
the direct rays of a sun that has made a wooden platform too hot to stand on in 
thiu shoes, without literally dancing with pain, as I have done many a day, within 
six degrees of the line." 



THE QUESTION OF COTTON SUPPLY. 259 

" Seaboard Slave States," p. 647.) They may be less subject 
to epidemic and infectious diseases, and yet be more liable to 
other fatal disorders, due to such influences, than whites. 
The worst climate for unacclimated whites of any town in the 
United States is that of Charleston. (This, together with 
the whole of the rice coast, is clearly exceptional in respect 
of salubrity for whites.) It happens fortunately that 
the most trustworthy and complete vital statistics of the 
South are those of Charleston. Dr. Nott, commenting upon 
these, says that the average mortality, during six years, has 
been, of blacks alone, one in forty-four ; of whites alone, one 
in fifty-eight. " This mortality" he adds, " is perhaps not an 
unfair test, as the population during the last six years has 
been undisturbed by emigration, and acclimated in greater 
proportion than at any previous period." If the comparison 
had been made between native negroes and native or accli- 
mated whites alone, it would doubtless show the climate to be 
still more unfavourable to negroes.* 

Upon the very district to which Mr. Eussell refers, as offer- 
ing an extreme case, I quote the testimony of a Mississippi 
statistician : — 

" The cotton-planters, deserting the rolling land, are fast pouring in 
upon the 'swamp.' Indeed, the impression of the sickliness of the South 



* Dr. Barton, of New Orleans, in a paper read before the Academy of Science 
of that city, says : " The class of diseases most fatal in the South are mainly of a 
'preventible nature,' and embraces fevers and intestinal diseases, and depends 
mostly on conditions under the control of man, as drainage, the removal of forest 
growth — of personal exposure and private hygiene. The climate further north is 
too rigid the greater part of the year for personal exposure to the open air, so 
essential to the enjoyment of health, and when the extremes are great and rapid, 
another class of maladies predominate — the pulmonary, as well as others arising 
irom crowding, defective ventilation and filth — exacting preventive measures 
from the public authorities with as much urgency as the worst fevers of the 
South." 

S 2 



260 COTTON AND SLAVEEY. 

generally has been rapidly losing ground [i. e. among the whites of the 
South] for some years back, and that blessing [health] is now sought with 
as much confidence on the swamp lands of the Yazoo and the Mississippi 
as among the hills and plains of Carolina and Virginia." — (De Bow's 
" Resources," vol. ii., p. 43.) 

Dr. Barton says : — 

" In another place I have shown that the direct temperature of the sun 
is not near so great in the South (during the summer) as it is at the 
North. I shall recur to this hereafter. In fact, the climate is much more 
endurable, all the year round, with our refreshing breezes, and particularly 
in some of the more elevated parts of it, or within one hundred miles of 
the coast, both in and out of doors, at the South than at the North, 
which shows most conspicuously the folly of the annual summer migra- 
tions, to pursue an imaginary mildness of temperature, which is left at 
home." 

Mr. Kussell assumes that slave labour tends, as a matter of 
course, to the formation of large plantations, and that free 
labour can only be applied to agricultural operations of a 
limited scope. Of slaves, he says : " Their numbers admit of 
that organization and division of labour which renders slavery 
so serviceable in the culture of cotton." I find no reason given 
for this assertion, except that he did not himself see any large 
agricultural enterprises conducted with free labour, while he 
did see many plantations of fifty to one hundred slave hands. 
The explanation, in my judgment, is that the cultivation of 
the crops generally grown in the Free States has hitherto been 
most profitable when conducted on the " small holding" 
system ;* the cultivation of cotton is, as a general rule, more 
profitable upon the " large holding" system. t Undoubtedly 
there is a point below which it becomes disadvantageous to 

* Indian corn has been considered an exception, and there are probably larger 
corn fields in Indiana than cotton fields in Mississippi. 

f I believe that plantations or agricultural operations devoted to a single crop 
are, as a general rule, profitable in proportion to their size in the Free States, 
unless, indeed, the market is a small one and easily overstocked, which is never the 
case with the cotton market. 



THE QUESTION OF COTTON SUPPLY. 261 

reduce the farm in the Free States, and this varies with local 
circumstances. There is equally a limit beyond which it is 
acknowledged to he unprofitable to enlarge the body of slaves 
engaged in cotton cultivation under one head. If cotton were 
to be cultivated by free labour, it is probable that this number 
would'be somewhat reduced. I have no doubt that the num- 
ber of men on each plantation, in any case, would, on an ave- 
rage, much nearer approach that which would be most econo- 
mical, in a free-labour cotton-growing country than in a 
country on which the whole dependence of each proprietor 
was on slaves. Is not this conclusion irresistible when we con- 
sider that the planter, if he needs an additional slave hand to 
those he possesses, even if temporarily, for harvesting his crop, 
must, in most cases, employ at least a thousand dollars of 
capital to obtain it ? 

Mr. Russell has himself observed that — 

" The quantity of cotton which can be produced on a [slave-worked] 
plantation is limited by the number of hands it can turn into the field 
during the picking or harvesting of the crop. Like some other agricul- 
tural operations, this is a simple one, though it does not admit of being 
done by machinery, as a certain amount of intelligence must direct the 
hand." 

The same is true of a wheat farm, except that much more 
can be done by machinery, and consecpienfly the extraordinary 
demand for labour at the wheat harvest is much less than it is 
on a cotton plantation. I have several times been on the 
Mississippi plantation during picking time, and have seen how 
everything black, with hands, was then pressed into severe 
service ; but, after all, I have often seen negroes breaking down, 
in preparation for re-ploughing the ground for the next crop, 
acres of cotton plants, upon which what appeared to me to be a 
tolerable crop of wool still hung, because it had been impossible 
to pick it. I have seen what was confessed to be many mm- 



262 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

dreci dollars' worth of cotton thus wasted on a single Red- 
River plantation. I much doubt if the harvest demand of the 
principal cotton districts of Mississippi adds five per cent, to 
their field-hand force. In Ohio, there is a far larger popula- 
tion ordinarily engaged in other pursuits which responds to 
the harvest demand. A temporary increase of the number of 
agricultural labourers thus occurs of not less than forty per 
cent, during the most critical period. 

An analogous case is that of the vintage in the wane districts 
of France. In some of these the " small holding" or jparceJJe- 
ment system is carried to an unfortunate extreme under the 
influence of what are, perhaps, injudicious laws. The parcels 
of land are much smaller, on an average, than the smallest 
class of farms ordinarily cultivated by free labour in the 
United States. But can any one suppose that if the slave 
labour system, as it exists in the United States, prevailed in 
those districts, that is to say, if the proprietors depended solely 
on themselves, their families, and their regular servants, as 
those of Mississippi must, at the picking time, there would 
not be a disastrous falling off in the commerce of those 
districts ? Substitute the French system, unfortunate as in 
some respects it is, for the Mississippi system in cotton grow- 
ing, and who will doubt that the cotton supply of the United 
States would be greatly increased ? 

Hop picking and cotton picking are very similar operations. 
The former is the more laborious, and requires the greater 
skill. What would the planters of Kent do if they had no 
one but their regular labourers to call upon at their harvest 
season ? 

I observed this advantage of the free labour system exempli- 
fied in Western Texas, the cotton fields in the vicinity of the 
German village of New Braunfels having been picked, when I 
saw them, far closer than any I had before seen, in fact, per- 



THE QUESTION OF COTTON SUPPLY. 263 

fectly clean, having been undoubtedly gleaned, by the poor 
emigrants. I was told that some mechanics made more in a 
day, by going into the field of a slaveowner and picking side by 
side with his slaves, being paid by measure, than they could 
earn at their regular work in a week. The degree of intelli- 
gence and of practice required to pick to advantage was found 
to be very slight, less, very much, than in any single opera- 
tion of wheat harvesters. One woman was pointed out to me 
who had, in the first year she had ever seen a cotton field, 
picked more cotton in a day than any slave in the county. 

I am reminded, as this page is about to be stereotyped, by 
observing the letter of a cotton planter in the New Orleans 
Price Current, of another disadvantage for cotton production, 
of slave labour, or rather of the system which slavery induces. 
In my volume on Texas, I stated that I was informed by a 
merchant that the cotton picked by the free labour of the 
Germans was worth from one to two cents a pound more than 
that picked by slaves in the same township, by reason of its 
greater cleanliness. From the letter referred to, I make the 
following extracts : — 

" Dear Sir : * * * There are probably no set of men engaged in 
any business of life who take as little pains and care to inform themselves 
■with regard to the character and quality of their marketable produce as 
the cotton-planter. Not one in a thousand knows, nor cares to know, 
•whether the cotton he sends to market is ordinary, good ordinary, or 
middling. Not one in a hundred spends one hour of each day at his gin 
in ginning season ; never sees the cotton after it is gathered, unless he 
happens to ride near the scaffold and looks from a distance of a hundred 
yards, and declares the specimen very white and clean, when, perhaps, it, 
on the contrary, may be very leafy and dirty. * * * 

" I have often seen the hands on plantations picking cotton with sacks 
that would hardly hold stalks, they were so torn and full of holes ; these 
sacks dragging on the ground and gathering up pounds of dirt at every 
few steps. The baskets, too, were with scarcely any bottoms remaining, 
having been literally worn out, the cotton lying on the ground. Indeed, 
some overseers do not forbid the hands emptying their cotton on the 
ground when their sacks are full, and they some distance from their 



264 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

baskets. When Ibis cotton is taken up, some dirt must necessarily come 
with it. When gathering in wet weather, the hands get into their baskets 
with muddy feet, and thus toss in some pounds of dirt, in this way making 
their task easier. These things are never, or rarely, seen by the proprietor : 
and, consequently, when his merchant writes him that his cotton is a little 
dusty, he says how can it be ? you are surely mistaken. 

" Now, sir, for all this there is one simple, plain remedy ; let the planter 
spend his time in ginning season at his gin ; let him see every load of 
cotton as it comes from the field and before it goes through the gin. But, 
says the man of leisure, the gin is a dirty, dusty place. Yes, sir, and 
always will be so, uutil you remedy the evil by staying there yourself. 
You say your overseer is hired to do this dirty work. Your overseer is 
after quantity, sir, and the more extra weight he gets in your cotton, the mor 
hales he will have to brag of having made at the end of the year. Don't trust 
him at the gin. * * * 

" Probably he has a conditional contract with his employer : gets so 
many dollars for all he makes over a certain number of bales ; thus having 
every inducement to put up as much leaf and dirt, or, if he is one of the 
dishonest kind, he may add stories, if they should abound in the neighbourhood. 

"Why will not the cotton-planter take pride in his own production '! 
The merchant prides himself on his wares ; the mechanic on the work of 
his hands. All seem to pride themselves on the result of their labour 
except the cotton-planter." * * * 

It cannot be admitted that the absence in the Free States 
of that organization and division of labour in agriculture 
which is found on a large slave-worked plantation is a neces- 
sity attending the use of free labour. Why should it be any 
more impossible to employ an army of free labourers in 
moving the ground with an agricultural design than with the 
intention of constructing a canal or a road, if it were profit- 
able to so employ the necessary capital ? A railroad con- 
tractor in one of the best cotton districts of the United States 
told me, that having begun his work with negroes, he was 
substituting Irish and German labourers for them as rapidly 
as possible, with great advantage (and this near midsummer) . 
But if I were convinced with Mr. Bussell upon this point, I 
should still be inclined to think that the advantages which 
are possessed in a free labour state of society equally by the 



THE QUESTION OF COTTON SUPPLY. 265 

great hop-planters at picking time and the jpetits proprietaires 
at vintage, which are also found in our own new States by the 
wheat farmer, and which are not found under the present 
system anywhere at the South, for cotton picking, would of 
themselves be sufficient to turn the scale in favour of the free- 
labour cotton grower. 

The error of the assumption by Mr. Kussell, that large 
gangs of unwilling labourers are essential or important to 
cotton production in the United States, is, I trust, apparent. 
And as to the more common and popular opinion, that the 
necessary labour of cotton tillage is too severe for white men 
in the cotton-growing climate, I repeat that I do not find 
the slightest weight of fact to sustain it. The necessary 
labour and causes of fatigue and vital exhaustion attending 
any part, or all, of the process of cotton culture does not 
compare with that of our July harvesting ; it is not greater 
than attends the cultivation of Indian corn in the usual New 
England method. I have seen a weakly white woman the 
worse for her labour in the cotton field, but never a white 
man, and I have seen hundreds of them at work in cotton 
fields under the most unfavourable circumstances, miserable, 
dispirited wretches, and of weak muscle, subsisting mainly, 
as they do, on corn bread. Mr. De Bow estimates one hun- 
dred thousand white men now engaged in the cultivation of 
cotton, being one ninth of the whole cotton force (numeri- 
cally) of the country.* I have just seen a commercial 
letter from San Antonio, which estimates that the handful of 
Germans in Western Texas will send ten thousand bales of 
cotton, the production of their own labour, to market this season. 
If it should prove to be but half this, it must be considered 
a liberal contribution to the needed supply of the year, by 

Vol. i., p. 175, " Resources." 



266 COTTON AND SLAVEBY. 

those who, following Mr. Eussell, have considered "Western 
Texas out of the true cotton region, and taking the truth 
of the common planters' assertion for granted, have thought 
Africans, working under physical compulsion, the only means 
of meeting the demand which could be looked to in the future 
of the United States. 

It would not surprise me to learn that the cultivation of 
cotton by the German settlers in Texas had not, after all, 
been as profitable as its cultivation by the planters employing 
slaves in the vicinity. I should attribute the superior profits 
of the planter, if any there be, however, not to the fitness 
of the climate for negro labour, and its unfitness for white 
labour, but to the fact that his expenses for fencing, on ac- 
count of his larger fields and larger estate, are several hun- 
dred per cent, less than those of the farmer ; to the fact that 
his expenses for tillage, having mules and ploughs and other 
instruments to use at the opportune moment, are less than 
those of the farmer, who, in many cases, cannot afford to 
own a single team ; to the fact that he has, from experience, 
a better knowledge of the most successful method of culti- 
vation ; to the fact that he has a gin and a press of his own 
in the midst of his cotton fields, to which he can carry his 
wool at one transfer from the picking ; by which he can put 
it in order for market expeditiously, and at an expense much 
below that failing upon the farmer, who must first store his 
wool, then send it to the planter's gin and press and have 
it prepared at the planter's convenience, paying, perhaps, 
exorbitantly therefor ; and, finally, to the fact that the 
planter deals directly with the exporter, while the farmer, 
the whole profit of whose crop would not pay his expenses in 
a journey to the coast, must transfer his bale or two to the 
exporter through two or three middle-men, carrying it one 



THE QUESTION OF COTTON SUPPLY. 267 

bale at a time, to the local purchaser. Merchants will never 
give as good prices for small lots as for large. There are 
reasons for this which I need not now explain. I consider, 
in short, that the disadvantages of the farmer in growing 
cotton are of the same nature as I have before explained 
with those which long ago made fire-wood of hand-looms, 
and paupers of those who could be nothing else but hand- 
loom weavers, in Massachusetts. Exactly how much is 
gained by the application of labour with the advantage of 
capital and combination of numbers over its isolated applica- 
tion as directed by individuals without capital in a slavehold- 
ing region, I cannot estimate, but no one will doubt that it 
is considerable. Nevertheless, in all the cotton climate of the 
United States, if a white farmer has made money without 
slaves, it will be found that it has been, in most cases, 
obtained exclusively from the sale of cotton. If cotton is 
a plant the cultivation of which by free or white labour is 
especially difficult, how is it that, with the additional em- 
barrassments arising from a lack of capital, his gains are 
almost exclusively derived from his cotton crop ? 

But I may be asked, if combination is what is needed to 
make cotton a source of more general prosperity at the South, 
why is there no such thing as a joint-stock cotton plantation 
in Mississippi, as there are joint-stock cotton mills in Massa- 
chusetts, the stock in which is in large part owned by those 
employed in them ? I ask, in reply, how is it that the com- 
mon way of obtaining breadstuff's in Northern Alabama is to 
sow three pecks of seed wheat on hard stubble ground, plough 
it under with unbroken bullocks, led with a rope, and a bull- 
tongue plough, and finally to garner rarely so much as six 
bushels from an acre ? How is it that while in Ohio the spin- 
ning-wheel and hand-loom are curiosities, and homespun 



268 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

would be a conspicuous and noticeable material of clothing, 
half the white population of Mississippi still dress in home- 
spun, and at every second house the wheel and loom are 
found in operation? The same influences which condemn 
the majority of free labourers in Alabama to hand-looms, 
homespun, and three hundred pounds of wheat to the acre, 
as the limit of production, also condemn them to isolated 
labour, poor soil, poor tools, bad management, "bad luck," 
small crops, and small profits in cotton culture. 

The following passages from a letter published in the 
New York Times present convincing evidence that it is 
no peculiarity of the Western Texas climate, but only the 
exceptional social condition with which its people are 
favoured, that enables free white labour to be employed in 
increasing the cotton production of the country. I have 
ascertained that the author of the letter is known to the 
editor of the Times, and is esteemed a gentleman of veracity 
and trustworthy judgment. 

" I am well acquainted with Eastern Mississippi, south of Monroe county, 
and there are few settlements where my name or face is unknown in the 
following counties, over the greater part of which I have ridden on horse- 
back, to wit : Loundes, Oktibleha, Choctaw, Carroll, Attalla, Winston, 
Noxubee, Kemper, Nashoba, Leake, Scott, Newton, Lauderdale, Clarke, 
Smith, and Jasper. After four years' travel through these counties, 
Iransacting business with great numbers of their inhabitants, stopping at 
their houses, conversing much with them, and viewing their mode of 
living, I unhesitatingly answer that white men can and do labour in the 
cotton field, from Christmas to Christmas following; and that there, as 
elsewhere, prudence, industry, and energy find their universal reward : 
success and wealth. 

" In the counties of Choctaw, Winston, Nashoba, Newton, and Smith, 
there are very few large plantations ; most of those having slaves holding 
but two or three, while those who own none are in the majority ; yet these 
are all cotton-growing counties, and the staple of their cotton, poor as 
their lands are, is equal to the average sold in the Mobile market. 
Where the young farmer is enterprising and go-ahead, his cotton is usually 
superior. * * * 



THE QUESTION OF COTTON SUPPLY. 269 

" The rich lands where white labour, even in small numbers, might be 
profitable, are either in the hands of large planters, or too heavily 
timbered for a single man. The only thing now preventing any poor 
white man in the South from gaining a fair competence, and even 
attaining wealth, is his own laziness, shiftlessness, and ignorance ; for 
the small planters in the counties I have mentioned are deplorably 
ignorant. * * * 

" There is one case I remember, which is to the point ; the man lives in 
Choctaw county, and was born in Georgia. He does not own a negro, but 
has two boys, one sixteen, the other twelve. With the assistance of these 
boys, and the most imperfect agricultural implements, he made twenty-two 
bales of cotton, year before last, plenty of corn, and sufficient small grain 
for himself and family, although the season was more than ordinarily bad 
in his neighbourhood, while many of ids neighbours, with five or six 
slaves, did not exceed him, and some made even less. He went on to his 
place without ten dollars in his pocket, gave his notes for eight hundred 
dollars, payable in one, two, and three years' time, with interest at six per 
cent, per annum, and the ensuing year he purchased another one hundred 
and sixty acres for seven hundred and fifty dollars, also on time. This 
man is, however, far more intelligent and progressive in farming than 
those about him ; he does not plant as did his grandfather, because his 
father did so, but endeavours to improve, and is willing to try an experi- 
ment occasionally. 

" In my own county, in Alabama, there is a woman whose husband died 
shortly after the crop was planted, leaving her without a single servant, 
and no assistance except from a little son of twelve years of age : yet she 
went into the field, ploughed and picked her cotton, prepared her ground 
for the coming crop, and raised a second crop thereon. 

My conclusion, from the various evidences to which I have 
referred, must be a widely different one from Mr. Eussell's, 
from that which is generally thought to prevail with our leading 
capitalists, merchants, and manufacturers, and from that which 
seems to have been accepted by the Cotton Supply Associa- 
tions of Liverpool and Manchester. It is this : that there is 
no physical obstacle in the way of our country's supplying ten 
bales of cotton where it now does one. All that is necessary 
for this purpose is to direct to the cotton-producing region 
an adequate number of labourers, either black or white, or 



270 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

both. No amalgamation, no association on equality, no vio- 
lent disruption of present relations is necessary. It is not even 
requisite that both black and white should work in the cotton 
fields. It is necessary that there should be more objects of in- 
dustry, more varied enterprises, more general intelligence among 
the people, and especially that they should become, or should 
desire to become, richer, more comfortable, than they are. 

The simple truth is, that even if we view in the brightest 
light of Fourth of July patriotism, the character of the whites 
of the cotton-producing region, and the condition of the 
slaves, we cannot help seeing that, commercially speaking, 
they are but in a very small part a civilized people. Un- 
doubtedly a large number of merchants have had, at times, a 
profitable business in supplying civilized luxuries and con- 
veniences to the South. The same is true of Mexico, of 
Turkey, of Egypt, and of Eussia. Silk, cloth, and calico, 
shoes, gloves, and gold watches, were sold in some quantity 
in California, before its golden coffers were forcibly opened 
ten years ago. The Southern supply to commerce and the 
Southern demand of commerce is no more what it should be, 
comparing the resources of the South with those of other 
lands occupied by an active civilized community, than is 
that of any half-civilized community, than was that of Cali- 
fornia. Give the South a people moderately close settled, 
moderately well-informed, moderately ambitious, and mode- 
rately industrious, somewhat approaching that of Ohio, for 
instance, and what a business it would have ! Twenty double- 
track railroads from the Gulf to the lakes, and twenty lines of 
ocean steamers, would not sufficiently meet its requirements. 
Who doubts, let him study the present business of Ohio, and 
ask upon what, in the natural resources of Ohio, or its position, 
could, forty years ago, a prediction of its present wealth and 



THE QUESTION OF COTTON SUPPLY. 271 

business have been made, of its present supply and its present 
demand have been made, which would compare in value with 
the commercial resources and advantages of position possessed 
to-day by any one of the Western cotton States ?* 

* Some one can render a service to civilization by publishing precisely what 
feudal rights, so called, were abolished in large parts of Germany and Hungary in 
1848, and what results to the commerce of the districts affected the greater 
freedom and impulse to industry arising therefrom has had. If I am rightly 
informed, trade, in many cases, both export and import, has already much moie 
than quadrupled in value, thousands of peasants now demanding numerous articles 
and being able to pay for them, which before only a few score or huDdre-d pro- 
prietors were expected to buy 



272 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 



CHAPTEE VIII. 

THE CONDITION AND CHARACTER OF THE PRIVILEGED CLASSES 
OF THE SOUTH. 

Since the growth of the cotton demand has doubled the value 
of slave labour, and with it the pecuniary inducement to pre- 
vent negroes from taking care of themselves, hypotheses and 
easy methods for justifying the everlasting perpetuation of 
slavery have been multiplied. I have not often conversed 
with a planter about the condition of the slaves, that he did 
not soon make it evident, that a number of these were on 
service in his own mind, naively falling back from one to 
another, if a few inquiries about matters of fact were ad- 
dressed him without obvious argumentative purpose. The 
beneficence of slavery is commonly urged by an exposition 
not only of the diet, and the dwellings, and the jollity, and 
the devotional eloquence of the negroes, but also by demon- 
strations of the high mental attainments to which individuals 
are already found to be arriving. Thus, there is always at 
hand, some negro mathematician, who is not merely held to 
be far in advance of the native Africans, but who beats most 
white men in his quickness and accuracy in calculation, and 
who is at the same time considered to be so thoroughly trust- 
worthy, that he is constantly employed by his master as an 
accountant and collecting agent ; or some negro whose repu- 
tation for ingenuity and skill in the management and repair 
of engines, sugar-mills, cotton-presses, or other machinery, 



FORMULA FOR JUSTIFYING SLAVERY. 273 

is so well established that his services are more highly valued, 
throughout a considerable district, than any white man's; 
or some negro who really manages his owner's plantation, 
his agricultural judgment being deferred to, as superior to 
that of any overseer or planter in the county. Scarcely a 
plantation did I visit on which some such representative black 
man was not acknowledged and made a matter of boasting 
by the owner, who, calling attention perhaps to the expression 
of intelligence and mien of self-confidence which distinguished 
his premium specimen, would cheerfully give me a history of 
the known special circumstances, practically constituting a 
special mental feeding, by which the phenomenon was to be 
explained. Yet it might happen that the same planter would 
presently ask, pointing to the brute-like countenance of a 
moping field-hand, what good would freedom be to such a 
creature? And this would be one who had been provided 
from childhood with food, and shelter, and clothing, with as 
little consideration of his own therefor as for the air he 
breathed ; who had not been allowed to determine for himself 
with whom he should associate ; with what tools and to what 
purpose he should labour ; who had had no care on account 
of his children ; who had no need to provide for old age ; who 
had never had need to count five-and-twenty ; the highest 
demand upon whose faculties bad been to discriminate be- 
tween cotton and crop-grass, and to strike one with a hoe 
without hitting the other; to whose intelligence, though 
living in a civilized land, the pen and the press, the mail and 
the telegraph, had contributed nothing ; who had no school- 
ing as a boy ; no higher duty as a man than to pick a given 
quantity of cotton between dawn and dark ; and of whom, 
under this training and these confinements, it might well be 
wondered that he was found able to understand and to speak the 
language of human intelligence any more than a horse. 

VOL. IT. T 



274 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

Again, one would assure me that he had witnessed in his 
own time an obvious advance in the quality of the slaves 
generally; they were more active, less stupid, employed a 
larger and more exact vocabulary, and were less superstitious, 
obstinate, and perverse in their habits of mind than when he 
was himself a boy ; but I had only to presume that, with this 
rapid improvement, the negroes would soon be safely allowed 
to take some step toward freedom, to be assured with much 
more apparent confidence than before, that in the special 
quality which originally made the negro a slave, there had 
been no gain ; that indeed it was constantly becoming more 
evident that he was naturally too deficient in forecasting 
capacity to be able to learn how to take civilized care of 
himself. 

As a rule, when the beneficence of slavery is argued by 
Southerners, an advancing intellectual as well as moral con- 
dition of the mass of negroes is assumed, and the high attain- 
ments of individuals are pointed to as evidence of what is to 
be expected of the mass, if the system is not disturbed. 
Suggest that any modification of the system would enlarge its 
beneficence, however, and an exception to the general rule, as 
regards the single quality of providence, is at once alleged, 
and in such a manner, that one cannot but get the impression 
that, in this quality, the negro is believed to be retrograding 
as surely as he is advancing in everything else ; and this is 
one method by which the unconditional perpetuation of the 
system, as it is, is justified. Such a justification must of 
course involve the supposition that in the tenth generation of 
an unremitted training, discipline, education, and custom in 
abject dependence upon a voluntary provision by others, for 
every wish of which the gratification is permitted, white men 
would be able, as a rule, to gain in the quality of providence 
and capacity for independent self-support. 



FORMULA FOR JUSTIFYING SLAVERY. 275 

As to the real state of the case, I find, in my own obser- 
vation, no reason for doubting, what must be expected of 
those interested, that the general improvement of the slave is 
usually somewhat overrated, and his forecasting ability under- 
rated. Measures intended to prevent a man from following 
his natural inclinations often have the effect of stimulating 
those inclinations ; and I believe that the system which is 
designed not merely to relieve the negro from having any 
care for himself, but, as far as practicable, to forcibly prevent 
him from taking care of himself, in many particulars to 
which he has more or less instinctive inclination, instead of 
gradually suppressing this inclination, to some extent stimu- 
lates it, so that the Southern negro of to-day, however 
depraved in his desires, and however badly instructed, is 
really a man of more cunning, shrewdness, reticence, and 
persistence, in what he does undertake for himself, than his 
father was. The healthful use of these qualities (which 
would constitute providence) is, however, in general, success- 
fully opposed by slavery, and, as far as the slave is concerned, 
nothing worse than this can be said of the system. 

Admitting that, in this view, slavery is not beneficent, or 
is no longer beneficent, or can be but for a time beneficent to 
the slave, the present attitude of the South still finds a mode 
of justification with many minds, in the broad assertion that 
the negro is not of the nature of mankind, therefore cannot be 
a subject of inhumanity. This, of course, sweeps the field, if 
it does anything : thus (from the Day-Book) — 

" The wide-spread delusion that Southern institutions are an evil, and 
their extension dangerous — the notion so prevalent at the North that there 
is a real antagonism, or that the system of the South is hostile to Northern 
interests ; the weakened union sentiment, and the utter debauchment, the 
absolute traitorism of a portion of the Northern people, not only to the 
Union, but to Democratic institutions, and to the cause of civilization on 
this continent ; all these, with the minor and most innumerable mischiefs 

T 2 



276 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

that this mighty world-wide imposture has engendered or drags in its 
midst, rest upon the dogma, the single assumption, the sole elementary 
foundation falsehood, that a negro is a black man." 

This bold ground is not as often taken at the South as by 
desperate bidders for Southern confidence among ourselves. 
I have heard Christian men, however, when pushed for a 
justification of the sealing up of the printed Bible, of the legal 
disregard of marriage, of giving power to rascally traders to 
forcibly separate families, and so on, refer to it as a hypothesis 
not at all to be scouted under such circumstances. Yet, as 
they did so, there stood behind their chairs, slaves, in whose 
veins ran more Anglo-Saxon blood than of any African race's 
blood, and among their other slaves, it is probable there were 
many descendants of Nubians, Moors, Egyptians, and Indians, 
all interbred with white and true negro tribes, so that it 
would be doubtful if there remained one single absolutely pure 
negro, to which animal alone their argument would strictly 
apply. If the right or expediency of denying the means of 
preparing themselves for freedom to these beings could even 
be held to be coexistent with the evident preponderance in 
them of certain qualities of form, colour, etc., the number of 
those who are held unjustly or inexpediently in the bonds of 
a perpetual slavery is already quite large in the South, and is 
gradually but surely increasing — is increasing much more 
rapidly than are their means of cultivating habits which are 
uecessary to be cultivated, before the manliest child of white 
men is capable of enjoying freedom. 

There are but two methods of vindicating the habit of de- 
pending on the labour of slaves for the development of wealth 
in the land, which appear to me, on the face of them, 
entitled to be treated gravely. One of these, assuming the 
beings held in slavery to be as yet generally incompetent to 
take care of themselves in a civilized manner, and dangerous 



FORMULA FOR JUSTIFYING SLAVERY. 277 

to the life as well as to the wealth of the civilized people who 
hold theni in slavery, argues that it is necessary for their 
humane maintenance, and to prevent them from acquiring an 
increase of the disposition and strength of mind and will 
which has always been felt a source of danger to the well- 
being of their masters, that all the present laws for their 
mental repression should be rigidly maintained. It is not to 
be denied, I think, that there is some ground for this as- 
sumption. Inasmuch as it is also argued that the same 
necessity requires that these beings, and with them all these 
laws, should be carried on to territory now free from them, 
we are called upon to give a sober consideration to the argu- 
ment which is based upon it. This I shall do in the last 
chapter. The other method to which I refer assumes that by 
having a well-defined class set apart for drudging and servile 
labour, the remainder of a community may be preserved free 
from the demeaning habits and traits of character which, it is 
alleged, servile and menial obligations and the necessity of a 
constant devotion to labour are sure to fix upon those who are 
subject to them. Hence a peculiar advantage in morals and 
in manners is believed to belong to the superior class of a 
community so divided. I am inclined to think that there is 
no method of justifying slavery, which is more warmly 
cherished by those interested to maintain it, than this. I am 
sure that there is none which planters are more ready to 
suggest to their guests.* 

* From an " Address on Climatology ," before the Academy of Science, by Dr. 
Barton, of New Orleans: — 

" The institution of slavery operates by contrast and comparison ; it elevates 
the tone of the superior, adds to its refinement, allows more time to cultivate the 
mind, exalts the standard in morals, manners, and intellectual endowments ; 
operates as a safety-valve for the evil disposed, leaving the upper race purer, 
while it really preserves from degradation, in the scale of civilization, the inferior, 
which we see is their uniform destiny when left to themselves. The slaves constitute 
essentially the lowest class, and society is immeasurably benefitted by having this 



278 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

No sensible man among us shuts his eyes to the ignorance, 
meanness, vice, and misery which accompanies our general 
prosperity ; no class of statesmen, no politicians or dema- 
gogues, no writers deny or ignore it. It is canvassed, pub- 
lished, studied, struggled with, by all honest men, and this not 
in our closets alone, but in our churches, our legislatures, our 
colleges, our newspapers, our families. We are constantly 
urging, constantly using means for discovering it and setting 
it forth plainly. We commission able men to make a business 
of bringing it to the light, and we publish the statistics which 
their labours supply as legislative documents to be circu- 



class, which constitutes the offensive fungus — the great cancer of civilized life — a 
vast burthen and expense to every community, under surveillance and control ; 
and not only so, but under direction as an efficient agent to promote the general 
welfare and increase the wealth of the community. The history of the world 
furnishes no institution under similar management, where so much good actually 
results to the governors and the governed as this in the Southern States of North 
America." 

" It is by the existence of slavery, exempting so large a portion of our citizens 
from labour, that we have leisure for intellectual pursuits." — Governor Hammond 
in South. Literary Mess. 

" Would you do a benefit to the horse or the ox, by giving him a cultivated 
understanding, or fine feelings ? So far as the mere labourer has the pride, the 
knowledge, or the aspirations of a free man, he is unfitted for his situation, and 
must doubly feel its infelicity. If there are sordid, servile, and laborious offices to be 
performed, is it not better that there should be sordid, servile, and laborious beings 
to perform them ?" — Chancellor Harper ; Address to South Carolina Institute. 

"The relations between the North and the South are very analogous to those 
which subsisted between Greece and the Roman Empire, after the subjugation of 
Achaia by the Consul Mummius. The dignity and energy of the Roman character, 
conspicuous in war and in politics, were not easily tamed and adjusted to the arts of 
industry and literature. The degenerate and pliant Greeks, on the contrary, ex- 
celled in the handicraft and polite professions. We learn from the vigorous 
invective of Juvenal, that they were the most useful and capable of servants, 
whether as pimps or professors of rhetoric. Obsequious, dexterous, and ready, the 
versatile Greeks monopolized the business of teaching, publishing, and manu- 
facturing in the Roman Empire — allowing their masters ample leisure for the 
service of the State, in the Senate or in the field." — Richmond Enquirer. 



FORMULA FOR JUSTIFYING SLAVERY. 279 

lated at the general expense, in order that our misfortune 
may be as well known and as exactly comprehended as 
possible. 

From much of all this, which so painfully and anxiously 
concerns us, we are told that the South is free. We are 
told that what we bewail is seen at the South to be the result 
of a mistaken social system ; that the South escapes that re- 
sult by slavery. We do not deny, we daily acknowledge that 
there are mistakes in our system ; we endeavour to remedy 
them ; and we not unfrequently have to acknowledge that in 
doing so, we have made some of our bad things worse. Does 
slavery relieve all ? And without compensation ? We often 
find, upon a thorough review, that our expedients, while they 
have for a time seemed to produce very valuable results, 
have in fact corrected one evil by creating or enhancing 
another. We have borrowed from Peter to pay Paul. In 
this way we find investigation and discussion to be constantly 
essential to prevent errors and mistakes from being exagge- 
rated and persevered in unnecessarily. Thus we — our honestly 
humane part at least — are ever calling for facts, ever publish- 
ing, proclaiming, discussing the facts of our evil. It is 
only those whose selfish interest is thought by themselves to 
be served by negligence, who resist investigation and publi- 
cation, who avoid discussion. Thus we come to habitually 
associate much activity of discussion, much consideration, 
much publication with improvement — often no doubt erro- 
neously — still it is natural and rational that when we find 
no discussion of facts, no publication, no consideration, where 
we find general consideration and general discussion prac- 
tically prevented by a forcible resistance to publication, 
we cannot but suspect there is something sadly need- 
ing to be made better. And this last we do find to be 
the case at the South, and with regard to slavery. Why, 



280 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

if their system has such tangible evidence of its advan- 
tages within the personal knowledge of any citizen, do they 
object to its alleged disadvantages being set forth for con- 
sideration, and, if it should happen, discussion ? True, we 
may be wrong, we may be mistaken in supposing that this, 
our constant publication and challenge to discussion is a good 
thing. Perhaps if we were better, we should talk less, know 
less of what evil remained to be gradually grown out of. It 
might be found that the constant consideration of our evil had 
had a bad effect upon us. But I have not found that the 
people of the South are inclined to shut their eyes, and close 
their ears, and bar their imaginations to the same evil. 
With the misery which prevails among us, Southerners gene- 
rally appear to be, indeed, more familiar than the most in- 
dustrious of our home philanthropists. Great as it is, it is 
really over-estimated at the South — over-estimated in the 
aggregate at least ; for it is perhaps impossible to over- 
estimate the sufferings of individuals. South of Virginia, an 
intelligent man or woman is rarely met who does not main- 
tain, with the utmost apparent confidence, that the people who 
do the work of the North are, on the whole, harder driven, 
worse fed, and more destitute of comfort than are the slaves at 
Ihe South, taking an average of both classes ; and this I heard 
assumed by gentlemen, the yearly cost of maintaining whose 
own slaves, according to their statement to me, would not 
equal the average monthly expenses of an equal number of 
the poorest class of labourers I have ever known at the 
North. I have heard it assumed by planters, who not only did 
not themselves enjoy, but who never imagined or aspired to a 
tithe of the comfort to which most journeymen mechanics 
whom I have known are habituated. I have heard it assumed 
by gentlemen, nine-tenths of whose neighbours for a hundred 
miles around them lived in a manner which, if witnessed at 



FORMULA FOR JUSTIFYING SLAVERY. 281 

the North, would have made thern objects of compassion to 
the majority of our day-labourers. 

A gentleman coming up the Mississippi, just after a recent 
" Southern Commercial Convention " at Memphis, says : 

"For three days I have been sitting at a table three times a day opposite 
four of the fire-eaters. * * * It was evident that they were sincere : 
for they declared to one another the belief that Providence was directing 
the South to recommence the importation of Africans, that she might lead 
the world to civilization and Christianity through its dependence upon her 
soil for cotton. All their conversation was consistent with this. They 
believed the South the centre of Christianity and the hope of the world, 
while they had not the slightest doubt that the large majority of the 
people of the North were much more to be pitied than their own negroes. 
Exclusive of merchants, manufacturers, lawyers, and politicians, they 
evidently imagined the whole population of the Nortli to be quite similar 
to the poor white population of the South. Yet they had travelled in the 
North, it appeared. I could only conclude that their observation of 
northern working men had been confined to the Irish operatives of 
some half- finished western railroad, living in temporary shanties along the 
route " 

I have even found that conservative men, who frankly 
acknowledged the many bad effects of slavery, and confessed 
the conviction that the Northern Slave States were ruined by 
it ; men who expressed admiration of Cassius Clay's course, 
and acknowledged no little sympathy with his views, and who 
spoke with more contempt of their own fanatics than of the 
Abolitionists themselves ; that such men were inclined to 
apologize for slavery, and for their own course in acting 
politically for its extension and perpetuation, by assuming 
certain social advantages to exist where it prevailed. " There 
is a higher tone in Southern society than at the North," 
they would say, "which is, no doubt, due to the greater 
leisure which slavery secures to us. There is less anxiety for 
wealth, consequently more honesty. This also leads to the 
habit of more generous living and of hospitality, which is 
so characteristic of the South." 



282 ' COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

I think that there is a type of character resulting in a 
secondary way from slavery, of which Mr. Clay is himself a 
noble example, which attracts admiration and affection in a 
rare manner. I shall explain this secondary action of slavery 
by-and-by. I have come to the conclusion that whatever may 
be the good results of slavery in the way I shall then describe, 
this so constantly asserted, so generally conceded, of inducing 
a "'■higher tone " of breeding, and especially of nourishing the 
virtue of hospitality, is chimerical. 

Some reader may at once be inclined to say that the South- 
erners whom he has met are unquestionably better bred 
people than are common at the North, and that they state as 
their experience that they do not find that hospitality, that 
honesty, that guilelessness of dealing one with another among 
the people of the North, to which they are accustomed at 
home. It would remain a question, whether the Southerners 
whom the reader has met are of a common or an exceptional 
class ; whether it is to slavery, or to some other circumstance, 
they owe their breeding ; whether this other circumstance is 
dependent on slavery, or whether it may exist (and, if so, 
whether, when it does exist, it produces the same fruit) quite 
independently of slavery. It cannot be said thatihere are no 
gentlemen and gentlewomen of first water in free countries. 
A comparison, then, must be a comparison of numbers. I 
shall, by-and-by, offer the reader some assistance in making a 
comparison of this kind. And if, as we hear, free-labour 
society is still an experiment, and one of the results of that 
experiment is to be found in the low condition of portions of 
our community, and it is by comparing this result with the 
condition of the whites of the South that we must judge of 
the success of the experiment ; it may again be a question 
of numbers. As to experience of hospitality, that is not a 
question of quantity or of quality merely. I should wish to 



FORMULA FOR JUSTIFYING SLAVERY. '.283 

ask the reader's Southern authorities, " Where and with whom 
has your experience been, North and South ?" And if with 
a similar class and in similar circumstances, I should wish to 
ask further, " What do you mean by hospitality ?" 

I think that the error which prevails in the South, with 
regard to the general condition of our working peoj)le, is 
much strengthened by the fact, that a different standard of 
comfort is used by most persons at the South from that 
known at the North, and that used by Northern writers. 
People at the South are content and happy with a condition 
which few accept at the North unless with great complaint, 
or with expressions of resignation such as are the peculiar 
property of slaves at the South. If, reader, you had been 
travelling all day through a country of the highest agricul- 
tural capability, settled more than twenty years ago, and 
toward nightfall should be advised by a considerate stranger 
to ride five miles further, in order to reach the residence of 
Mr. Brown, because Mr. Brown, being a well-to-do man, and 
a right good fellow, had built an uncommonly good house, 
and got it well furnished, had a score of servants, and being 
at a distance from neighbours, was always glad to entertain 
a respectable stranger — after hearing this, as you continued 
your ride somewhat impatiently in the evening chill, what 
consolations would your imagination find in the prospect 
before you ? My New England and New York experience 
would not forbid the hope of a private room, where I could, 
in the first place, wash off the dust of the road, and make 
■;ome change of clothing before being admitted to a family 
apartment. This family room would be curtained and car- 
peted, and glowing softly with the light of sperm candles or 
a shaded lamp. When I entered it, I could expect that a 
couch or an arm-chair, and a fragrant cup of tea, with refined 
sugar, and wholesome bread of wheaten flour, leavened, 



284 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

would be offered me. I should think it likely that I could 
then have the snatch of Tannhauser or Trovatore, which had 
been running faintly in my head all day, fingered clearly out 
to my entire satisfaction upon a pianoforte. I should then 
look with perfect confidence to being able to refer to Shake- 
speare, or Longfellow,- or Dickens, if anything I had seen or 
thought during the day had haply led me to wish to do so. 
I should expect, as a matter of course, a clean, sweet bed, 
where I could sleep alone and undisturbed, "until possibly in 
the morning a jug of hot water should be placed at my door, 
to aid the removal of a traveller's rigid beard. I should 
expect to draw a curtain from before a window, to lift the 
sash without effort, to look into a garden and fill my lungs 
with fragrant air ; and I should be certain when I came down 
of a royal breakfast. A man of these circumstances in this 
rich country, he will be asking my opinion of his fruits. A 
man of his disposition cannot exist in the country without 
ladies, and ladies cannot exist in the country without flowers ; 
and might I not hope for the refinement which decks even 
the table with them ? and that the breakfast would be a meal 
as well as a feed — an institution of mental and moral suste- 
nance as well as of palatable nourishment to the body ? My 
horse I need hardly look after, if he be a sound brute ; — good 
stables, litter, oats, hay, and water, grooming, and discretion 
in their use, will never be wanting in such a man's house in 
the country. 

In what civilized region, after such advice, would such 
thoughts be preposterous, unless in the Slave States ? Not 
but that such men and such houses, such family and home 
comforts may be found in the South. I have found them — 
a dozen of them, delightful homes. But then in a hundred 
cases where I received such advice, and heard houses and 
men so described, I did not find one of the things imagined 



FORMULA FOF JUSTIFYING SLAVERY. 285 

above, nor anything ranging with them. In my last journey 
of nearly three months between the Mississippi and the 
Upper James Eiver, I saw not only none of those things, 
received none of those attentions, but I saw and met nothing 
of the kind. Nine times out of ten, at least, after such a 
promise, I slept in a room with others, in a bed which stank, 
supplied with but one sheet, if with any ; I washed with 
utensils common to the whole household ; I found no garden, 
no flowers, no fruit, no tea, no cream, no sugar, no bread ; 
(for corn pone — let me assert, in parenthesis, though possibly, 
as tastes differ, a very good thing of its kind for ostriches — is 
not bread : neither does even flour, salt, fat, and water, stirred 
together and warmed, constitute bread ;) no curtains, no 
lifting windows (three times out of four absolutely no windows), 
no couch — if one reclined in the family room it was on the 
bare floor — for there were no carpets or mats. For all that, 
the house swarmed with vermin. There was no hay, no 
straw, no oats (but mouldy corn and leaves of maize), no 

discretion, no care, no honesty, at the there was no stable, 

but a log-pen ; and besides this, no other out-house but a 
smoke-house, a corn-house, and a range of nigger houses. 

In nine-tenths of the houses south of Virginia, in which I 
was obliged, making all reasonable endeavour to find the best, 
to spend the night, there were none of these things. And 
most of these had been recommended to me by disinterested 
persons on the road as being better than ordinary — houses 
where they " sot up for travellers and had things." From 
the banks of the Mississippi to the banks of James, I did not 
(that I remember) see, except perhaps in one or two towns, 
a thermometer, nor a book of Shakespeare, nor a pianoforte 
or sheet of music ; nor the light of a carcel or other good 
centre-table or reading-lamp, nor an engraving or copy of any 
kind, of a work of art of the slightest merit. I am not speak- 



286 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

ing of what are commonly called " poor whites ;" a large 
majority of all these houses were the residences of share- 
holders, a considerable proportion cotton-planters. 

Those who watch the enormous export of cotton from the 
South, and who are accustomed to reckon up its value, as it 
goes forward, million on million, hundred million on hundred 
million, year after year, say that it is incomprehensible, if it 
be not incredible, that the people of the South are not rich 
and living in luxury unknown elsewhere. It is asking too 
much that such statements as I have made should be received 
without any explanation. I have found this to be so, and so 
far as the explanation appears in the attendant social pheno- 
mena of the country, I shall endeavour to set it forth, sus- 
taining the accuracy of my report by the evidence of com- 
petent Southern witnesses. 

William H. Gregg, Esq., a distinguished citizen of Charles- 
ton, South Carolina, in a report to the directors of the Granite- 
ville Manufacturing Company of that State, describes at length 
the condition of the operatives of the company, whom he states 
to have been drawn originally "from the poor of Edgefield, 
Barnwell and Lexington districts." These are cotton-growing 
districts of South Carolina, better supplied than usual with 
the ordinary advantages of civilized communities. For 
instance, by reference to the census returns, I find that they 
are provided with public schools at the rate of one to less than 
thirty square miles, while within the State, inclusive of its 
several towns, there is but one public school, on an average, 
to every forty square miles. There are churches within these 
districts, one to about seventeen square miles ; throughout 
the State, including Charleston and its other cities, one to 
every twenty-five square miles. In Georgia the average is 
one to thirty- two square miles. With the condition of the 
newer cotton States, in these respects, that of Edgefield, 



FORMULA FOR JUSTIFYING SLAVERY. 287 

Barnwell, and Lexington, would be found to compare still 
more favourably for the poor. In Lexington there is even a 
theological seminary. What, nevertheless, there is not gene- 
rally available to the people at large, Mr. Gregg indicates 
by his statement of what advantages they possess who have 
come to Graniteville. •*• 

" When they were first brought together, the seventy-nine out of a 
hundred grown girls who could neither read nor write were a by-word 
around the country ; that reproach has long since been removed. We 
have night, Sunday, and week-day schools. Singing-masters, music- 
teachers, writing-masters, and itinerant lecturers all find patronage in 
Graniteville where the people can easily earn all tho necessaries of 
life, and are in the enjoyment of the usual luxuries of country life." * * * 

" To get a steady supply of workmen, a population must be collected 
which iv ill regard themselves as a community ; and two essential elements 
are necessary to the building up, moral growth, and stability of such a col- 
lection of people, namely, a church and a school-house." * * * 

"I can safely say that it is only necessary to make comfortable homes in 
order to procure families, that will afford labourers of the best kind. A 
large manufacturing establishment located anywhere in the State, away 
from a town and in a healthy situation, will soon collect around it a popu- 
lation who, however poor, with proper moral restraints thrown around 
them, will soon develope all the elements of good society. Self-respect 
and attachment to the place will soon find their way into the minds of such, 
while intelligence, morality, and well directed industry, will not fail to 
acquire position." 

What the poor people of Edgefield, Barnwell, and Lexing- 
ton districts needed was, in the first place, to be led " to 
regard themselves as a community;" for this purpose the 
nuclei of "a church and a schoolhouse " are declared to be 
essential, to which must be added, such other stimulants to 
improvement as "singing and writing schools, itinerant 
lecturers," etc., etc. In short, the power of obtaining, as 
the result of their labour, " the necessaries of life," "the 
usual luxuries of country life," or, in two words, which cover 
and include church, school, music and lecture, as well as 
bread, cleanliness, luxuries and necessities, "comfortable 



288 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

homes." It was simply by making possible to them what 
before had not been possible, the essential conditions of a 
comfortable civilized home, that Mr. Gregg was enabled in 
a few years to announce, as he did, that, " from extreme 
poverty and want, they have become a thrifty, happy, and 
contented people." 

The present system of American slavery, notwithstanding 
the enormous advantages of wealth which the cotton monopoly 
is supposed to offer, prevents the people at large from having 
"comfortable homes," in the sense intended by Mr. Gregg. 
For nine-tenths of the citizens, comfortable homes, as the 
words would be understood by the mass of citizens of the 
North and of England, as well as by Mr. Gregg, are, under 
present arrangements, out of the question. 

Examine almost any rural district of the South, study its 
history, and this will be as evident as it was to Mr. Gregg in 
the case of those to which his attention was especially called. 
These, to be sure, contained, probably, a large proportion of 
very poor soil. But how is it in a district of entirely rich 
soil? Suppose it to be of twenty square miles, with a 
population of six hundred, all told, and with an ordinarily 
convenient access by river navigation to market. The whole 
of the available cotton land in this case will probably be 
owned by three or four men, and on these men the demand 
for cotton will have had, let us suppose, its full effect. Their 
tillage land will be comparatively well cultivated. Their 
houses will be comfortable, their furniture and their food 
luxurious. They will, moreover, not only have secured the best 
land on which to apply their labour, but the best brute force, the 
best tools, and the best machinery for ginning and pressing, 
all superintended by the best class of overseers. The cotton 
of each will be shipped at the best season, perhaps all at 
once, on a boat, or by trains expressly engaged at the lowest 



THE CAUSES AND THE REMEDY. 289 

rates of freight. It will everywhere receive special attention 
and care, because it forms together a parcel of great value. 
The merchants will watch the markets closely to get the 
best prices for it, and when sold the cash returns to each 
proprietor will be enormously large. As the expenses of 
raising and marketing cotton are in inverse ratio to the 
number of hands employed, planters nearly always imme- 
diately reinvest their surplus funds in slaves ; and as there 
is a sufficient number of large capitalists engaged in cotton- 
growing to make a strong competition for the limited 
number of slaves which the breeding States can supply, it is 
evident that the price of a slave will always be as high as the 
product of his labour, under the best management, on the 
most valuable land, and with eveiy economical advantage 
which money can procure, will warrant. 

But suppose that there are in the district besides these 
three or four large planters, their families and their slaves, 
a certain number of whites who do not own slaves. The 
fact of their being non-slaveholders is evidence that they 
are as yet without capital. In this case one of two tendencies 
must soon be developed. Either being stimulated by the 
high price of cotton they will grow industrious, will accu- 
mulate capital and purchase slaves, and owning slaves will 
require a larger amount of land upon which to work them 
than they require for their own labour alone, thus being 
led to buy out one of the other planters, or to move else- 
where themselves before they have acquired an established 
improvement of character from their prosperity ; or, secondly, 
they will not purchase slaves, but either expend currently 
for their own comfort, or hoard the results of their labour. 
If they hoard they will acquire no increase of comfort or im- 
provement of character on account of the demand. If they 
spend all their earnings, these will not be sufficient, however 

VOL. II. u 



290 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

profitable their cotton culture may be supposed, to purchase 
luxuries much superior to those furnished to the slaves of 
the planters, because the local demand, being limited to 
some fifty white families, in the whole district of twenty 
square miles, is not enough to draw luxuries to the neigh- 
bourhood, unless they are brought by special order, and at 
great expense from the nearest shipping port. Nor is it 
possible for such a small number of whites to maintain a 
church or a newspaper, nor yet a school, unless it is one 
established by a planter, or two or three planters, and really 
of a private and very expensive character. 

Suppose, again, another district in which either the land is 
generally less productive or the market less easy of access 
than in the last, or that both is the case. The stimulus of 
the cotton demand is, of course, proportionately lessened. In 
this case, equally with the last, the richest soils, and those 
most convenient to the river or the railroad, if there happens 
to be much choice in this respect, will assuredly be possessed 
by the largest capitalists, that is, the largest slaveholders, 
who may nevertheless be men of but moderate wealth and 
limited information. If so, their standard of comfort will yet 
be low, and their demand will consequently take effect very 
slowly in increasing the means of comfort, and rendering 
facilities for obtaining instruction more accessible to then- 
neighbours. But suppose, notwithstanding the disadvantages 
of the district in its distance from market, that their sales of 
cotton, the sole export of the district, are very profitable, and 
that the demand for cotton is constantly increasing. A 
similar condition with regard to the chief export of a free 
labour community would inevitably tend to foster the intelli- 
gence and industry of a large number of people. It has this 
effect with only a very limited number of the inhabitants of a 
plantation district consisting in large part as they must of 



THE CAUSES AND THE REMEDY. 291 

slaves. These labourers may be driven to work harder, and 
may be furnished with better tools for the purpose of in- 
creasing the value of cotton which is to be exchanged for the 
luxuries which the planter is learning to demand for himself, 
but it is for himself and for his family alone that these 
luxuries will be demanded. The wages — or means of de- 
manding home comfort — of the workmen are not at all 
influenced by the cotton demand : the effect, therefore, in en- 
larging and cheapening the local supply of the means of home 
comfort will be almost inappreciable, while the impulse gene- 
rated in the planter's mind is almost wholly directed toward 
increasing the cotton crop through the labour of his slaves 
alone. His demand upon the whites of the district is not 
materially enlarged in any way. The slave population of the 
district will be increased in number, and its labour more 
energetically directed, and soon the planters will find the soil 
they possess growing less productive from their increasing 
drafts upon it. There is plenty of rich unoccupied land to 
be had for a dollar an acre a few hundred miles to the West, 
still it is no trifling matter to move all the stock, human, 
equine, and bovine, and all the implements and machinery of 
a large plantation. Hence, at the same time, perhaps, with 
an importation from Virginia of purchased slaves, there will 
be an active demand among the slaveholders for all the re- 
maining land in the district on which cotton can be profitably 
grown. Then sooner or later, and with a rapidity propor- 
tionate to the effect of the cotton demand, the white popu- 
lation of the district divides, one part, consisting of a few 
slaveholders, obtains possession of all the valuable cotton 
land, and monopolizes for a few white families all the advan- 
tages of the cotton demand. A second part removes with its 
slaves, if it possess any, from the district, while a third con- 
tinues to occupy the sand hills, or sometimes perhaps takes 

u 2 



292 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

possession of the exhausted land which has heen vacated by 
the large planters, because they, with all their superior skill 
and advantages of capital, could not cultivate it longer with 
profit.* 

The population of the district, then, will consist of the 
large landowners and slaveowners, who are now so few in 
number as to be unnoticeable either as producers or con- 
sumers ; of their slaves, who are producers but not consumers 
(to any important extent), and of this forlorn hope of poor 
whites, who are, in the eyes of the commercial world, neither 
producers nor consumers. The contemplation from a distance 
of their condition, is a part of the price which is paid by those 
who hold slavery to be justifiable on the ground that it main- 
tains a race of gentlemen. Some occasionally flinch for a 
moment, in observing it, and vainly urge that something 
should be done to render it less appalling. Touching their 
ignorance, for instance, said Governor Seabrooke of South 
Carolina, addressing the Legislature of that State, years 
ago:— 

"Education has been provided by the Legislature, but for one class o. 
the citizens of the State, which is the wealthy class. For the middle and 
poorer classes of society it has done nothing, since no organized system 
has been adopted for that purpose. You have appropriated seventy-five 
thousand dollars annually to free schools ; but, under the present mode of 
applying it, that liberality is really the profusion of the prodigal, rather 
than the judicious generosity which confers real benefit. The few who 
are educated at public expense in those excellent and truly useful institu- 



* The business committee of the South Carolina State Agricultural Society 
reported, Aug. 9, 1855 : — 

" Our old fields are enlarging, our homesteads have been decreasing fearfully 
in number. * * * We are not only losing some of our most energetic and useful 
citizens to supply the bone and sinew of other States, but we are losing our slave 
population, which is the true wealth of the State, our stocks of hogs, horses, mules, 
and cattle are diminishing in size and decreasing in number, and our purses are 
strained for the last cent to supply their places from the X or th- western States." 



THE CAUSES AND THE REMEDY. 293 

tions, the Arsenal and Citadel Academies [military schools], form almost 
the only exception to the truth of this remark. Ten years ago, twenty 
thousand adults, besides children, were unable to read or write, in South 
Carolina. Ha3 our free-school system dispelled any of this ignorance? 
Are there not any reasonable fears to be entertained that the number has 
increased since that period ?" 

Since then, Governor Adams, in another message to the 

South Carolina Legislature, vainly urging the appointment of 

a superintendent of popular education, said : — 

" Make, at least, this effort, and if it results in nothing— if, in conse- 
quence of insurmountable difficulties in our condition, no improvement 
can be made on the present system, and the poor of the land are hope- 
lessly doomed to ignorance, poverty, and crime — you will, at least, feel 
conscious of having done your duty, and the public anxiety on the subject 
will be quieted." 

It is not unnatural that there should be some anxiety with 
at least that portion of the public not accustomed to look at 
public affairs in the large way of South Carolina legislators, 
when the travelling agent of a religious tract society can read 
from his diary in a church in Charleston, such a record as 
this : — 

" Visited sixty families, numbering two hundred and twenty-one souls 
over ten years of age ; only twenty-three could read, and seventeen write. 
Forty-one families destitute of the Bible. Average of their going to 
church, once in seven years. Several, between thirty and forty-five years 
old, had heard but one or two sermons in their lives. Some grown-up 
youths had never heard a sermon or prayer, until my visit, and did not 
know of such a being as the Saviour ; and boys and girls, from -ten to fifteen 
years old, did not know who made them. All of one family rushed away 
when I knelt to pray, to a neighbour's, begging them to tell what I meant 
by it. Other families fell on their faces, instead of kneeling."* 

The following is written by a gentleman, " whose name," 
says the editor of De Bow's " Keview," " has long been illus- 
trious for the services he has rendered to the South." 

" All of you must be aware of the condition of the class of people I 
allude to. What progress have thej r made in the last hundred years, and 



* De Bow'i " Review," vol. xviii. p. 790. 



294 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

what is to be their future condition, unless some mode of employment be 
devised to improve it ? A noble race of people ! reduced to a condition 
but little above the wild Indian of the forest, or the European gipsy, 
without education, and, in many instances, unable to procure the food 
necessary to develop the natural man. They seem to be the only class of 
people in our State who are not disposed to emigrate to other countries, 
while our wealthy and intelligent citizens are leaving us by scores, taking 
with them the treasures which have been accumulated by mercantile thrift, 
as well as by the growth of cotton and the consequent exhaustion of 
the soil." 

Says Governor Hammond, also of South Carolina, in an 
address before the South Carolina Institute : — 

"According to the best calculations which, in the absence of statistic 
facts, can be made, it is believed that, of the 300,000 white inhabitants of 
South Carolina, there are not less than 50,000, whose industry, such as it 
is, and compensated as it is, is not, in the present condition of things, and 
does not promise, hereafter, to be, adequate to procure them, honestly, 
such a support as every white person in this country is and feels himself 
entitled to. 

" Some cannot be said to work at all. They obtain a precarious sub- 
sistence by occasional jobs, by hunting, by fishing, sometimes by plunder- 
ing fields or folds, and. too often, by what is, in its effects, far worse — 
trading with slaves, and seducing them to plunder for their benefit." 

In another part of the same address, Governor Hammond 
says, that " $18 or, at the most $19, will cover the whole 
necessary annual cost of a full supply of wholesome and 
palatable food, purchased in the market ;" meaning, generally, 
in South Carolina. From a comparison of these two extracts, 
it will be evident that g 19 per annum is high wages for the 
labour of one-sixth of all the white population of South 
Carolina — and that one-sixth exclusive of the classes not 
obliged to labour for their living. 

South Carolina affords the fairest example of -the tendency 
of the Southern policy, because it is the oldest cotton State, 
and because slavery has been longest and most strongly and 
completely established there. But the same laws are seen in 



THE CAUSES AND THE REMEDY. 295 

operation leading to the same sure results everywhere. Some 
carefully compiled statistics of the seaboard district of Georgia 
will be found in Appendix (D), showing the comparative con- 
dition of the people in the rich sea- island counties, and those 
iii their rear, the latter consisting in large proportion of poor 
or worn-out lands. I recapitulate here the more exact of 
these statistics : — 

Population. — A large majority of the whole white popula- 
tion resides within the barren counties, of which the slave 
population is less than one-fourteenth that of the aggregate 
slave population of the whole. 

Wealth. — The personal estate of the whites of these upper 
counties is, on an average, less than one-sixth that of the 
others. 

Education. — As the wealthy are independent of public 
schools, the means of education are scarcely more available 
for those who are not rich in one than the other, the school- 
houses being, on an average, ten and a half miles apart in the 
less populous, thirteen and three-quarters miles apart in the 
more populous. 

ReMgion.-rlt is widely otherwise as to churches. In the 
2)lanting counties, there is a house of worship for every 
twenty-nine white families ; in the poor white counties, one 
for every one hundred and sixty-two white families. Not- 
withstanding the fact, that to accommodate all, the latter 
should be six times as large, their average value is less than 
one-tenth that of the others ; the one being eight hundred 
and ninety-eight dollars, the other eighty-nine dollars. 

Commerce. — So wholly do the planters, in whose hands 
is the wealth, depend on their factors for direct supplies from 
without, the capital invested in trade, in the coast counties, is 
but thirty-seven and a half cents to each inhabitant, and in 
the upper counties it is but one dollar and fifty cents. From 



29 G COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

the remarks on temperance it would seem that the most of 
this capital must be held in the form of whiskey. One 
" store " in Liberty county, which I myself entered, contained, 
so far as I could see, nothing but casks, demijohns, decanters, 
a box of coffee, a case of tobacco, and some powder and lead ; 
and I believe that nine-tenths of the stock in trade referred 
to in these statistics is of this character. It was mentioned to 
me by a gentleman who had examined this district with a 
commercial purpose, that, off the plantations, there was no 
money in the country — almost literally, no money. The 
dealings even of the merchants or tradesmen seemed to be 
entirely by barter. He believed there were many full-grown 
men who had never seen so much as a dollar in money in 
their lives. 

The following is a graphic sketch by a native Georgian of 
the present appearance of what was once the most productive 
cotton land of the State : — 

" The classic hut occupied a lovely spot, overshadowed by majestic 
hickories, towering poplars, and strong-armed oaks. The little plain on 
which it stood was terminated, at the distance of about fifty feet from the 
door, by the brow of a hill, which descended rather abruptly to a noble 
spring, that gushed joyously forth from among the roots of a stately beech, 
at its foot. The stream from this fountain scarcely burst into view, before 
it hid itself in the dark shade of a field of cane, which overspread the dale 
through which it flowed, and marked its windings, until it turned from 
fcight, among vine-covered hills, at a distance far beyond that to which the 
eye could have traced it, without the help of its evergreen belt. A remark 
of the captain's, as we viewed this lovely country, will give the reader my 
apology for the minuteness of the foregoing description : ' These lands,' 
said he, ' will never wear out. Where they lie level, they will be just as 
good, fifty years hence, as they are now.' Forty-two years afterwards, I 
visited tlie spot on which he stood when he made the remark. The sun 
poured his whole strength upon the bald hill which once supported the 
sequestered school-house ; many a deep-washed gully met at a sickly bog, 
where had gushed the limpid fountain ; a dying willow rose from the soil 
which had nourished the venerable beech ; flocks wandered among the 
dwarf pines, and cropped a scanty meal from the vale where the rich cane 



THE CAUSES AND THE REMEDY. 297 

had bowed and rustled to every breeze, and all around was barren, dreary, 
and cheerless."* 

I will quote from graver authority : Fenuer's Southern 
Medical Keports : — 

"The native soil of Middle Georgia is a rich argillaceous loam, resting 
on a firta clay foundation. In some of the richer counties, nearly all the 
lands have been cut down, and appropriated to tillage ; a large maximum of 
which have been worn out, leaving a desolate picture for the traveller to 
behold. Decaying tenements, red, old hills, stripped of their native growth 
and virgin soil, and washed into deep gullies, with here and there patches 
of Bermuda grass and stunted pine shrubs, struggling for subsistence on 
what was once one of the richest soils in America." 

Let us go on to Alabama, which was admitted as a State of 
the Union only so long ago as 1818. 

In an address before the Chunnentiggee Horticultural 
Society, by Hon. C. C. Clay, Jr., reported by the author in 
De Bow's " Review," December, 18-5, I find the following 
passage. I need add not a word to it to show how the 
political experiment of the Carolinas, and Georgia, is being 
repeated to the same cursed result in young Alabama. The 
author, it is fair to say, is devoted to the sustentation of 
Slavery, and would not, for the world, be suspected of favour- 
ing any scheme for arresting this havoc of wealth, further 
than by chemical science : — 

" I can show you, with sorrow, in the older portions of Alabama, and in 
my native county of Madison, the sad memorials of the artless and exhaust- 
ing culture of cotton. Our small planters, after taking the cream off their 
lands, unable to restore them by rest, manures, or otherwise, are going 
further west and south, in search of other virgin lands, which they may 
and will despoil and impoverish in like manner. Our viealthier planters, 
with greater means and no more skill, are buying out their poorer neighbours, 
extending their plantations, and adding to their slave force. The wealth ij few, 



* " Georgia Scenes," by the Rev. and Hon. Judge Longstreet, now President of the 
University of Mississippi. Harper's edition, p. 76. 



298 COTTON ASTD SLAVERY. 

who are able to live on smaller profits, and to give their blasted fields some 
rest, are thus pushing off the many, who are merely independent. 

" Of the twenty millions of dollars annually realized from the sales of the 
cotton crop of Alabama, nearly all not expended in supporting the p: oducers 
is reinvested in land and negroes. Thus the white population has decreased, 
and the slave increased, almost pari passu in several counties of our State. 
In 1825, Madison county cast about 3,000 votes; now she cannot cast 
exceeding 2,800. In traversing that county one will discover numerous farm- 
houses, once the abode of industrious and intelligent freemen, now occupied by 
slaves, or tenantless, deserted, and dilapidated ; he will observe fields, once 
fertile, now unfenced, abandoned, and covered with those evil harbingers— fox- 
tail and broom-sedge ; he will see the moss growing on the mouldering walls 
of once thrifty villages : and tvill find ' one only master grasps the ivhole 
domain' that once furnished happy homes for a dozen white families. Indeed, 
a country in its infancy, where, fifty years ago, scarce a forest tree had been 
felled by the axe of the pioneer is already exhibiting the painful signs of 
senility and decay, apparent in Virginia and the Carolinas ; the freshness of 
its agricultural glory is gone; the vigour of its youth is extinct, and the spirit 
of desolation seems brooding over it.'' 

What inducement has capital in railroads or shops or books 
or tools to move into districts like this, or which are to become 
like this ? Why, rather, I shall be asked, does it not with- 
draw more completely ? Why do not all, who are able, 
remove from a region so desolate ? Why was not its impo- 
verishment more complete, more simultaneous ? How is it 
that any slaveholders yet remain ? The " venerable Edmund 
Bufnn," president of the Virginia State Agricultural Society, 
shall answer :* 

" The causes are not all in action at once, and in equal progress. The 
labours of exhausting culture, also, are necessarily suspended as each of the 
cultivators' fields is successively worn out. And when tillage so ceases, 
and any space is thus left at rest, nature immediately goes to work to 
recruit and replace as much as possible of the wasted fertility, until another 
destroyer, after many years, shall return, again to waste, and in much 
shorter time than before, the smaller stock of fertility so renewed. Thus 
the whole territory, so scourged, is not destroyed at one operation. But 
though these changes and partial recoveries are continually, to some extent 



* Address before the South Carolina Institute. 



THE CAUSES ADD THE REMEDY. 299 

counteracting the labours for destruction, still the latter work is in general 
progress. It may require (as it did in my native region) more than two 
hundred years, from the first settlement, to reach the lowest degradation. 
But that final result is not the less certainly to be produced by the con- 
tinued action of the causes." 

As to the extent to which the process is carried, Mr. Gregg 
says :"* 

" I think it would be within bounds to assume that the planting capital 
withdrawn within that period [the last twenty-five years] would, judiciously 
applied, have drained every acre of swamp land in South Carolina, besides 
resuscitating the old, worn-out land, and doubling the crops — thus more 
than quadrupling the productive power of the agriculture of the State." 

It would be consoling to hope that this planters' capital in 
the new region to which it is driven were used to better 
results. Does the average condition of the people of western 
Louisiana and Texas, as I have exhibited it to the reader in a 
former chapter, justify such a hope ? When we consider the 
form in which this capital exists, and the change in the mode 
of its investment which is accomplished when it is transferred 
from South Carolina, we perceive why it does not. 

If we are told that the value of one hundred thousand 
dollars has been recently transferred from Massachusetts to a 
certain young township of Illinois, we reasonably infer that 
the people of this township will be considerably benefited 
thereby. We think what an excellent saw mill and grist 
mill, what an assortment of wares, what a good inn, what a 
good school, what fine breeding stock, what excellent seeds 
and fruit trees, what superior machinery and implements, 
they will be able to obtain there now ; and we know that some 
of these or other sources of profit, convenience, and comfort to 
a neighbourhood, are almost certain to exist in all capital 
so transferred. In the capital transferred from South Caro- 

* Fifth Annual Report to Directors of Graniteville Company, 



300 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

lina, there is no such virtue — none of consequence. In a 
hundred thousand dollars of it there will not he found a single 
mill, nor a waggon load of " store goods ;" it will hardly intro- 
duce to the neighbourhood whither it goes a single improve- 
aent, convenience, or comfort. At least ninety thousand 
dollars of it will consist in slaves, and if their owners go with 
them it is hard to see in what respect their real home comfort 
is greater. 

We must admit, it is true, that they are generally better 
satisfied, else this transfer would not be so unremitting as it 
is. The motive is the same at the North as at the South, 
the prospect of a better interest from the capital, and if this 
did not exist it would not be transferred. Let us suppose 
that, at starting, the ends of the capitalist are obtained equally 
in both cases, that a sale of produce is made, bringing in cash 
twenty thousand dollars ; suppose that five thousand dollars of 
this is used in each case for the home comfort of the owners, 
and that as much immediate comfort is attainable with it in 
the one case as in the other. What, then, is done with the 
fifteen thousand dollars ? At the South, it goes to pay for a 
further transfer of slaves purchased in the East, a trifle also 
for new tools. At the North, nearly all of it will go to im- 
provement of machinery of some kind, machinery of transfer 
or trade, if not of manufacture, to the improvement of the pro- 
ductive value of whatever the original capital had been invested 
in, much of it to the remuneration of talent, which is thus 
enabled to be employed for the benefit of many people other 
than these capitalists — for the home comfort of many people. 
If five thousand dollars purchased no more comfort in the one 
case than the other, at starting, in a few years it will purchase 
double as much. For the fifteen thousand dollars which has 
gone East in the one case to pay for more labour, will, in the 
other, have procured good roads and cheap transportation of 



THE CAUSES AND THE REMEDY. 301 

comforts, or shops and machinery, and thus the cheap manu- 
facture of comforts on the spot where they are demanded. But 
they who sell the reinforcement of slaves, and to whom comes 
the fifteen thousand dollars, do they have no increase of home 
comfort ? Taking into consideration the gradual destruction 
of all the elements of home comfort which the rearing and 
holding of those slaves has occasioned in the district from 
which they are sold, it may he doubtful if, in the end, they do. 
Whither, then, does this capital go ? The money comes to the 
country from those who buy cotton, and somebody must have 
a benefit of it. Who ? Every one at the South says, when 
you ask this, it is the Northern merchant, who, in the end, 
gets it into his own hands, and it is only him and his whom it 
benefits. Mr. Gregg apparently believes this. He says, after 
the sentence last quoted from him, describing the transfer of 
capital to the West from South Carolina : — 

" But this is not all. Let us look for a moment at the course of things 
among our mercantile classes. Wo shall not have to go much further hack 
than twenty-five years to count up twenty-five millions of capital accumu- 
lated in Charleston, and. which has left us with its enterprising owners, who 
have principally located iu northern cities. This sum would huild factories 
enough to spin and weave every pound of cotton made in the State, besides 
making railroads to intersect every portion of the up-country, giving busi- 
ness facilities to the remotest points." 

How comes this capital, the return made by the world 
for the cotton of the South, to be so largely in the hands of 
Northern men ? The true answer is, that what these get is 
simply their fair commercial remuneration for the trouble of 
transporting cotton, transporting money, transporting the total 
amount of home comfort, little as it is, which the South gets 
for its cotton, from one part of the country to the other (chiefly 
cotton to the coast, and goods returned instead of money from 
the coast to the plantations) , and for the enormous risks and 
advances of capital which are required in dealing with the 



302 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

South. Is this service over paid ? If so, why do not the 
planters transfer capital and energy to it from the plantations ? 
It is not so. Dispersed and costly labour makes the cost of 
trade or transfer enormous (as it does the cost of cotton pro- 
ducing). It is only when this wealth is transferred to the 
Free States or to Europe that it gives great results to human 
comfort and becomes of great value. The South, as a whole, 
has at present no advantage from cotton, even planters but 
little. The chief result of the demand for it, as far as they 
are concerned, is to give a fictitious value to slaves. 

Throughout the South-west I found men, who either told 
me themselves, or of whom it was said by others, that they 
settled where I found them, ten or fifteen years ago, with 
scarcely any property beyond half a dozen negroes, who were 
then indeed heavily in debt, but who were now quite rich men, 
having from twenty to fifty negroes. Nor is this at all sur- 
prising, when it is considered that cotton costs nothing but 
labour, the value of the land, however rich, being too incon- 
siderable to be taken into account, and that the price of cotton 
has doubled in ten years. But in what else beside negroes 
were these rich men better off than when they called them- 
selves poor? Their real comfort, unless in the sense of 
security against extreme want, or immunity from the necessity 
of personal labour to sustain life, could scarcely have been 
increased in the least. There was, at any rate, the same 
bacon and corn, the same slough of a waggon channel 
through the forest, the same bare walls in their dwellings, 
the same absence of taste and art and literature, the same 
distance from schools and churches and educated advisers, 
and — on account of the distance of tolerable mechanics, and 
the difficulty of moving without destruction, through such a 
rough country, anything elaborate or finely finished — the 
same make-shii't furniture. There were, to be sure, ploughs 



THE CAUSES AND THE REMEDY, 303 

and hoes, and gins and presses, and there were scores of very 
" likely negroes." Whoever sold such of these negroes as 
had heen hought must have been the richer, it will be said. 
But let us see. 

The following picture of the condition of Virginia, the 
great breeding ground of slaves, is drawn by the last gover- 
nor of that State, Henry A. Wise. It was addressed to a 
Virginia audience, who testified to its truthfulness. 

" You have had no commerce, no mining, no manufactures. 

" You have relied alone on the single power of agriculture — and such 
agriculture ! Your sedge-patches outshine the sun. Your inattention to 
your only source of wealth has scared the very bosom of mother earth. 
Instead of having to feed cattle on a thousand hills, you have had to chase 
the stump-tailed steer through the sedge-patches to procure a tough beef- 
steak. 

" The present condition of things has existed too long in Virginia. The 
landlord has- skinned the tenant, and the tenant has skinned the land, until 
all have grown poor together. I have heard a story — I will not locate it 
here or there — about the condition of the prosperity of our agriculture. I 
was told by a gentleman in Washington, not long ago, that he was travel- 
ling in a county not a hundred miles from this place, and overtook one of 
our citizens en horseback, with, perhaps, a bag of hay for a saddle, without 
stirrups, and the leading line for a bridle, and he said : ' Stranger, whose 
house is that?' 'It is mine,' was the reply. They came to another. 
' Whose house is that?' 'Mine, too, stranger.' To a third: 'And whose 
house is that?' 'That's mine, too, stranger ; but don't suppose that I'm 
so darned poor as to own all the land about here.' " 

But more to the purpose is the following statement of " the 
venerable Edmund Kufnn," President of the Virginia Agri- 
cultural Society. 

" A gang of slaves on a farm will increase to four times their original 
number in thirty or forty years. If a farmer is only able to feed and 
maintain his slaves, their increase in value may double the whole of his 
capital originally invested in farming before he closes the term of an ordi- 
nary life. But few farms are able to support this increasing expense, and 
also furnish the necessary supplies to the family of the owner ; whence 
very many owners of large estates, in lands and negroes, are throughout 



304 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

their lives too poor to enjoy the comforts of life, or to incur the expenses 
necessary to improve their unprofitable farming. A man so situated may 
be said to be a slave to his own slaves. If the owner is industrious and 
frugal, he may be able to support the increasing numbers of his slavts, and 
to bequeath them undiminished to his children. But the income of few 
persons increases as fast as their slaves, and, if not, the consequence must 
be that some of them will be sold, that the others may be supported, and 
the sale of more is perhaps afterwards compelled to pay debts incurred in 
striving to put off that dreaded alternative. The slave at first almost 
starves his master, and at last is eaten by him — at least, he is exchanged 
for his value in food." 

A large proportion of the negroes sold to these South- 
western planters, then, had probably been bought by traders at 
forced sales in the older States, sales forced by merchants who 
had supplied the previous owners of the negroes, and who 
had given them credit, not on account of the productive 
value of their property as then situated, but in view of its 
cash value for sale, that is, of the value which it would 
realize when applied to cotton on the new soils of the South- 
west. 

The planters of the South-west are then, in fact, supplying 
the deficit of Eastern production, taking their pay almost 
entirely in negroes. The free West fills the deficit of the 
free Eastern cereal production, but takes its pay in the manu- 
factured goods, the fish, the oil, the butter, and the importa- 
tions of the free East. 

Virginia planters owning twenty to forty slaves, and nomi- 
nally worth as jnany thousand dollars, often seem to live 
generously ; but according to Northern standards, I do not 
think that the comforts and advantages for a rationally happy 
life, which they possess, compare with those of the average 
of Northern farmers of half that wealth. When they do, 
they must be either supplying slaves for the new cotton fields 
or living on credit — credit based on an anticipation of supply- 
ing that market. 



THE CAUSES AND THE REMEDY. 305 

Of course it cannot be maintained that no one, while living 
at the South, is actually richer from the effects of the cotton 
demand. There are a great many very wealthy men at the 
South, and of planters, as well as land dealers, negro dealers, 
and general merchants, but, except in or near those towns 
which are, practically, colonies of free labour, having constant 
direct communication and intimate relationship with free 
countries, the wealth of these more fortunate people secures 
to them but a small proportion of the advantages which 
belong to the same nominal wealth anywhere in the Free 
States, while their number is so small that they must be 
held of no account at all in estimating the condition of the 
people, when it is compared with the number of those who are 
exceedingly destitute, and at whose expense, quite as much 
as at the expense of their slaves, the wealth of the richer class 
has been accumulated. 

This cannot be rightly deemed extravagant or unjust lan- 
guage. I should not use it if I did not feel satisfied that it 
was warranted, not only by my own personal observations, 
but by the testimony of persons whose regard for the pride 
of the South, whose sympathy with wealthy planters, and 
whose disposition not to underrate the good results of slavery, 
if not more sincere than mine, is more certain not to be 
doubted. I quote, for instance, a single passage from the 
observations of Mr. Eussell, an English gentleman, who, 
travelling with a special view of studying the agricultural 
condition and prospects of the country, was, nevertheless, so 
much limited in time that he was obliged to trust in a great 
degree to the observations of planters for his facts. 

"In travelling through a fertile district in any of the Southern States), 

the appearance of things forms a great contrast to that in similar districts in 

the Free States. -During two clays' sail on the Alabama river from Mobile 

to Montgomery, I did not see so many iiouses standing together in any one 

VOL. II. X 



306 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

spot as could be dignified with the appellation of village :* but I may pos- 
s.bly have passed some at night. There were many places where cotton 
was shipped and provisions were landed, still there were no signs of enter- 
prise to indicate that we were in the heart of a rich cotton region. * * * 
The planters supply themselves directly through agents in the large 
towns, and comparatively little of the money drawn for the cotton crop is 
spent in t!.e Southern States. Many of the planters spend their incomes 
by travelling with their families in the Northern States or in Europe during 
the summer, and a large sum is required to pay the hog-raiser in Ohio, 
the mule-breeder in Kentucky, and, above all, the Northern capitalists who 
have vast sums of money on mortgage over the estates. Dr. Cloud, the 
editor of the Cotton Plant [Alabama], assured me that after all these items 
are paid out of the money received for the whole cotton crop and sugar 
crops of the South, there did not remain one-fourth part of it to be spent 
in the Southern States. Hence, the Slave States soon obtain a compara- 
tively stationary condition, and, further, the progress they make is in 
proportion to the increase of freemen, whose labour is rendered compa- 
ratively unproductive, seeing that the most fertile land is occupied by 
slaveholders. "t 

I questioned the agent of a large land speculation in 
Mississippi, a Southerner by birth, with regard to the success 
of small farmers. In reply he made the following statement, 
allowing me to take notes of it, understanding they were for 
publication : — 

" The majority of our purchasers have been men without capital. To 
such we usually sell one hundred and sixty acres of land, at from two to 
three dollars an acre, the agreement being to pay in one, two, and three 
years, with six per cent, interest. It is very rare that the payments are 
made when due, and much the largest proportion of this class fail even to 
pay their interest punctually. Many fail altogether, and quit their farms 
in about ten years. When crops are generally good, and planters in the 
same neighbourhood make seven bales to a hand, poor people will not 

make over two bales, with their whole family. There is ■ , in 

county, for instance. We sold him one hundred and sixty acres of 

land in 1843. He has a family of good-sized boys — young men now. For 



* Mr. Russell uses the language of England. There are several collections of 
houses on this river bank, the inhabitants of which would consider it an insult if 
they should hear such a humble term as " village " applied to then pseudo towns 
and cities. 

■(• " North America ; its Agriculture and Climate," p. 290. 



THE CAUSES AND THE REMEDY. 307 

ten years he was never able to pay his interest. He sold from two to four 
bales a year, but he did not. get much for it, and after taking out the cost of 
bagging and rope, and ginning and pressing, he scarcely ever had two hun- 
dred dollars a year corning to him, of which he had to pay his store bills, 
chiefly for coffee and molasses, sometimes a little clothing — some years 
none at all. They made their own cloth mostly in the house, but bought 
sheeting sometimes. He has made one payment on the principal, from a 
sale of hogs. Almost the only poor people who have kept up to their 

agreement have been some near , since the cotton factory was started 

trfere. It is wonderful what a difference that has made, though it's but a 
picayune affair. People who have no negroes in this country generally 
raise corn enough to bread them through the year, and have hogs enough 
ranging in the swamps to supply them with bacon. They do not often 
buy anything except coffee and molasses and tobacco. They are not 
generally drunkards, but the men will spend all the money they may have 
and get gloriously drunk once or twice a year, at elections or at court 
time, when they go to the county town. T think that two bales of cotton 
a year is as much as is generally made by people who do not own negroes. 
They are doing well if they net over fifty dollars a year from their labour, 
besides supplying themselves with corn. A real smart man, who tends his 
crop well, and who knows how it ought to be managed, can make five 
bales, almost always. Five bales are worth two hundred and fifty dollars, 
but it's very rare that a white man makes that. They have not got the right 
kind of tools, and they don't know how. Their crops are never half tended. 
If folks generally tended their crops as some do, there would be more than 
twice as much cotton raised as there is." 

With regard to the enlargement of estates by successful 

planters, having stated what were my impressions, the same 

gentleman replied that I was entirely right, and gave an 

instance, as follows, from his personal knowledge : — 

" J. B. moved into county within my recollection. He has bought 

out, one after another, and mainly since 18n0, more than twenty small 
landowners, some of them small slaveholders, and they have moved away 
from the vicinity. I do not know how many negroes he has now, but 
several hundred, certainly. His surplus must have averaged twenty 
thousand dollars a year for several years, and, as far as I know, the whole 
is expended in purchasing negroes or land. He spends no money for 
anything else in the county, I am sure. It is a common thing to hear a man 
say, ' J. B. has bought up next to me, and I shall have to quit soon.' He 
never gets the land alongside of a man that within two years he does not 
buy him out. In the last ten years I know of but one exception, and that 
is a man who has shot two of B.'s niggers who were stealing his corn. 

x 2 



308 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

This man swears he won't sell at any price, and that he will shoot any of 
J. B.'s niggers whom he catches coming on his place. B.'s niggers are 
afraid of him, and let him alone. J. B. will pay more for land than its 
worth to anybody else, and his negroes are such thieves that nobody 
can live in comfort on any place adjoining one of his. There are two 
other men in the county who are constantly buying up the land around 
there. The white population of the county is diminishing, and the trade of 
the place [the county town] is not so good as it was ten years ago." 

The following is an extract from a letter written by* a 
worthy farmer of Illinois, whose name and address is in my 
possession, and who is deemed by those who have known him 
for many years a sound trustworthy man : — 

" What might be made of this country if the people were free, and the 
labourer everywhere owned the land, one may speculate upon; and when 
he sees the homes of Yankees who go thither often with small means, and 
make old worn-out places blossom and bloom, he begins to suspect that 
there is something in men as well as in climate. 

" I now come to speak of the wealth of the people of the South-western 
Slave States, and, for fear I may be thought to exaggerate, I here say I 
will not tell the whole truth. I'll keep some back for another time. 
Now, men who go through on boats and ears, and stop in cities and large 
hotels, know nothing to what I do— I who have gone among the people of 
every class, I who have stayed with them hundreds of nights, Sundays and 
all, and gone to meetings and frolics, and travelled hours in the woods, 
where sometimes there was a road, and sometimes not, trying to find a 
place to stay over night — and, having visited more than a thousand plan- 
tations, and slept and eat in I know not how many hovels, and talked with 
them all, and, if I choose, can talk precisely as they do, and they wouldn't 
suspect I was born up North — I say, I tliink I ought to know something 
about them. 

" The impression which one gets on going South is the general dilapida- 
tion or carelessness which appears, even upon some of the best planta- 
tions. The nice white houses so common at the North, even in the 
remotest agricultural districts, with green blinds, with clean door-yards, 
and well kept shrubbery, snug barns, green meadows, and corner school- 
houses, are nowhere seen. The furniture of the houses is of the com- 
monest description ; and to make short work with it, I estimate that there 
are not decent chairs enough in the whole South to give half a set to 
each family. For there are to-day, and there have been for every day for 
more than ten years past, more than 30,000 people in Tennessee alone, who 
have not a foot of land or a bit of work to do. I am speaking of whites, 
and not of negroes at all. A bushel of corn-meal, a side of bacon, and a 



THE CAUSES AND THE REMEDY. 309 

little coffee, will be all that a family of this class can ever expect to get 
beforehand, and it is often they get neither coffee nor bacon. If they 
have a cow, and she 'comes up,' they may have milk, but as for butter, 
some have heard of it, some have seen it, few have eaten it. And the fact 
is, many, yes, many who own from two to five slaves, are little better off. I 
stayed with a man who had fifteen slaves and 400 acres of land, where he 
had lived forty years, and his house was not worth fifty cents ; what my 
fare was you may guess. I have seen hundreds of families living in log 
cabins, ten or twelve feet square, where the children run around as naked 
as ever they were born, and a bedstead or chair was not in the house, and 
never will be. I have seen the children eat wheat and grass, growing 
in the field. I have seen them eat dirt. I saw children here on my 
own place, in Southern Illinois, last year, eat dirt, they were so hungry. 
Southern Illinois has been a city of refuge for the poor people of the Slave 
States. Folks thought Humboldt told a big story when he gave an ac- 
count of the clay-eating Indians of South America. Of course where 
poverty is so general, and where the slaves are few, the slaves cannot fare 
much worse than their masters. It is generally said by the people of the 
Slave States that they prefer corn bread, but, place the two kinds before 
them, and you will see wbicli they like best. No class of people like 
corn bread, and no people, as a general thing, are worth much who can get 
nothing else. 

"For the most part, the people of these regions manufacture all their 
every-day clothing, and their garments look as though they were made 
for no other purpose than to keep them warm and to cover their nakedness ; 
beauty of colouring and propriety in fitting are little regarded. Every 
man who is not rich is a shoemaker. Blacksmith-shops are innumerable, 
and yet I have sent a boy over eighty miles from shop to shop, and then 
did not get a horse shod. Men call themselves gunsmiths, but they only 
stock guns. There are carpenters, and cabinet-makers, and chair-makers, 
and all this working badly with poor tools. The sum is, there is no real 
discipline of mind among them, no real ingenuity, no education, no com- 
fortable houses, no good victuals, nor do they know how to cook ; and when 
I go among them, what troubles me most is, they have no grass, no clover, 
no hay. 

" And yet, as fine and well-disposed men, and as anxious to improve, are 
to be found in the South-western States as are to be found anywhere. 
They are as honest as men ever are, and they will treat a stranger the best 
they know liow^. The trouble is, the large slaveholders have got all the 
good land. There can be no schools, and if the son of a poor man rises 
above his condition there is no earthly chance for Jiim. He can only hope 
to be a slave-driver, for an office is not his, or he must leave and go to a Free 
State. Were there no Free States, the white people of the South would to- 
day be slaves." 



310 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

I will here call upon just one more witness, whose evidence 
I cite at this point, not merely because, in very few words, 
having reference to the very heart of the planter's prosperity, 
it practically endorses all I have said, but for another reason 
which will presently appear. 

First as to the non-slaveholders : — 

"I am not aware that the relative number of these two classes has ever 
been ascertained in any of the States, but I am satisfied that the non- 
slaveholders far outnumber the slaveholders, perhaps by three to one.* 
In the more southern portion of this region [' the ^outh-west,' of which 
Mississippi is the centre], the non-slaveholders possess generally but very 
small means, and the land which they possess is almost universally poor, 
and so sterile that a scanty subsistence is all that can be derived from its 
cultivation, and the more fertile soil, being in the hands of the slaveholders, 
must ever remain out of the power of those who have none. * * * And 
I lament to say that I have observed of late years that an evident deteriora- 
tion is taking place in this part of the population, the younger portion of 
it being less educated, less industrious, and. in every point of view, less re- 
spectable than their ancestors." — J. O. B. De Bow, Resources of the South 
and West, vol. ii. p. 106. 

Again as to the cotton-planters and slaveholders : — 

" If one unacquainted with the condition of the South-west were told 
that the cotton-growing district alone had sold -the crop for fifty million 
dollars for the last twenty years he would naturally conclude that this 
must be the richest community in the world. * * * But what would 
be his surprise when told that so far from living in palaces, many of these 
planters dwell in habitations of the most primitive construction, and these 
so inartificially built as to be incapable of defending the inmates from the 
winds and rains of heaven. Tlmt instead of any artistical improvement, 
this rude dwelling was surrounded by cotton fields, or probably by fields 
exhausted, washed into gullies, and abandoned ; that instead of canals, 
the navigable streams remain unimproved, to the great detriment of 
transportation; that the common roads of the country were scarcely pass- 
able ; that the edifices erected for the purposes of learning and religion 
were frequently built of logs and covered [roofed] with boards.'' — J. O. B. 
De Bow, Resources of the South, vol. ii. p. 113. 



* It was not long since estimated in the Legislature of Kentucky as seven to one 
in that State. 



FORMULA FOR JUSTIFYING SLAVERY. 311 

Do a majority of Northern working men dwell in habita- 
tions having no more elements of comfort, even taking differ- 
ence of climate into consideration, than Mr. De Bow ascribes 
to the residences of the slaves' owners ? No Northern man 
can for a moment hold such an opinion. What, then, 
becomes of the theory by which the planters justify slavery 
to themselves and recommend it to us ? If the ennobling 
luxuries which the institution of slavery secures to the 
" superior class," and by which it is supposed to be " qualified 
for the higher duties of citizenship," are, at the most, sugar, 
instead of molasses, in its coffee ; butter, with its pone ; 
cabbage, with its bacon, and two sheets to its bed — and the 
traveller who goes where I travelled, month after month, 
with the same experience, cannot help learning to regard 
these as luxuries indeed, — if "freedom from sordid and petty 
cares," and "leisure for intellectual pursuits," means a con-, 
dition approaching in comfort that of the keeper of a light- 
ship on an outer bar, what is the exact value of such words 
as " hospitality," " generosity," and "gallantry?" What is 
to be understood from phrases in such common use as " high 
toned," " well bred," "generous," "hospitable," and soon, 
when used in argument to prove the beneficence of slavery 
and to advocate its extension ? 

From De Bow's Review. 
"Mr. Frederick Law Olmsted, after signalizing himself by two very 
wordy volumes, abounding in bitterness and prejudice of every sort, and 
misrepresentations upon the ' Seaboard Slave States,' finding how profitable 
such literature is in a pecuniary point of view, and what a run is being made 
upon it thoughout the entire limits of abolitiondom, vouchsafes us now 
another volume, entitled a ' Journey through Texas, era Saddle-trip on the 
South-western Frontier.' Here, again, the opportunity is too tempting to be 
resisted to revile and abuse the men and the society whose open hospita- 
lity he undoubtedly enjoyed, and whom we have no doubt, like every other 
of his tribe travelling at the South, he found it convenient at the time tc 
flatter and approve. We have now grown accustomed to this, and it is not 



312 COTTON AND SLAVERY, 

at all surprising that here and there it is producing its effect in some 
violent exhibition of feeling like that displayed by our worthy old friend 
Dr. Brewer, of Montgomery county, Maryland, who persistently refuses, on 
all occasions, to allow a Yankee even to cross his fields, or like that of 
John Kandolph, who said in the House, ' Mr. Speaker, I would not allow 
one of my servants to buy as much as a toot-horn from one of these 
{ eople.' * * * 

"Somewhat further on, the parties rest for the night. 'For this the 
charge was $1.25 each person, including breakfast and horse-feed.' At 
the end of every page or two our tourist repeats these growlings over 
the enormous exactions. It is the refrain from one cover of the book to 
the other. What a series of martyrdoms. Could such a journey by any 
possibility be made ' to pay ?' Perhaps, friend traveller, you have heard of 
the lavish hospitality of the South, and imagined that people there moved 
out upon the high road for the sole purpose of sharing the society which 
gentlemen, like yourself, could furnish, believing every arrival to be an 
act of special providence ! When you offered to pay the woman on 
Red River, and ' feared she was offended by your offering her money fo r 
her hospitality,' you paid the highest compliment to the Soutli ; for heaven 
knows you would have had no such apprehension on the banks of the 
Connecticut." 



I cannot but be gratified that so much importance should 
have been attached to my earlier volumes as to induce the 
Superintendent of the Census to devote to their consideration 
a leading article in the first economico-political review of the 
country ; and I can feel nothing but regret that he should be 
obliged to attribute to an unworthy motive even those of my 
labours the result of which he does me the honour to desig- 
nate as valuable and trustworthy. I have often had occasion 
to refer to Mr. De Bow, and, I believe, have always done so 
in a manner consistent with the respect which I feel for the 
class of men among whom he has had the honourable ambition 
to rank himself. That a man, while occupying a position 
which properly belongs to the most able and just-minded 
statistician in the country, should think it proper to write 
under his own name in the manner of which the above ex- 
tracts are a sample, about a work which assumes to relate 



OF SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY. 313 

calmly and methodically, the result of a personal study of the 
condition of the people of a certain State, is a note-worthy 
circumstance in illustration of the present political history of 
our country. I cite them now, however, chiefly to show what 
need there is for a discussion upon which I propose to enter, 
myself, little further than is necessary to enable me to clearly 
set forth certain facts in their more important significance, the 
right of publishing which can hardly be denied me, in view 
of the insinuations made by Mr. De Bow, who in this follows 
what has got to be a general custom of Southern reviewers and 
journalists towards travellers with whose expressed judgments 
upon any matter observed within the slave States they differ. 
There are numerous homes in the South the memory of which 
I cherish tenderly. There are numbers of men in the South 
for whom I have a warm admiration, to whom I feel grateful, 
whose respect I wish not to lose. There are others for whom 
I have a quite different feeling. Of a single individual of 
neither class have I spoken in these two volumes, I believe, 
by his true name, or in such a manner that he could be re- 
cognized, or his home pointed out by any one who had not 
been previously familiar with it and with him, being, as a 
rule, careful to so far differ from the actual order of the 
events of my journey in narrating them, that facts of private 
life could not be readily localized. From this rule I do not 
intend now to depart further than is necessary to exhibit the 
whole truth of the facts to which I have referred, but since 
the charge of ingratitude and indelicacy is publicly made 
against me, as it has frequently been of late against better 
men on similar grounds, I propose to examine those grounds 
hi the light of certain actual exj>eriences of myself and others, 
and let it be judged whether there must always exist a pe- 
culiar moral obligation upon travellers to be mealy-mouthed 
as to the habits of the people of the South, either on account 



3J4 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

of hospitality or in reciprocation of the delicate reserve which, 
from the tenor of Mr. De Bow's remarks, it might be sup- 
posed was habitually exercised in the South with regard to 
the habits of their own people. These experiences shall be 
both special and general. What immediately follows is of 
the former class, but, in the end, it will be found to have a 
general significance. 

On a hot morning in July a Northern traveller left the 
town of Lynchburg, the chief market-town of Virginia tobacco, 
and rode eastwardly towards Farinville. Suddenly taken 
severely ill, and no house being in sight, he turned from the 
road into the shade of the wood, dismounted, reclined against 
a sturdy trunk, took an anodyne, which he fortunately had 
with him, and at length found relief in sleep. Late in the 
day he awoke, somewhat recovered, but with a sharp head- 
ache and much debilitated. He managed, however, to mount, " 
and rode slowly on to find a shelter for the night. In half 
an hour the welcome sight of an old plantation mansion 
greeted his eyes. There was a large court, with shade trees 
and shrubbery between the road and the house, and in the 
corner of this court, facing the road, a small warehouse or 
barn, in and around which were a number of negroes moving 
casks of tobacco. A white man, evidently their owner, was 
superintending their labour, and to him the traveller applied 
for lodging for the night. 

" We don't take in strangers." 

The traveller informed the planter of his illness and in- 
ability to ride further. 

" You'll have to try to ride as far as the next house, sir ; 
we don't take in travellers here," was the reply. 

"Eeally I don't feel able. I should not like to put you 
to inconvenience, sir, but I am weak and faint. My horse, 
too, has eaten nothing since early in the morning." 



OF SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY. 315 

"Sorry for you, but we have no accommodation for tra- 
vellers here," was the only reply, and the planter stepped to 
the other side of a tobacco cask. 

The traveller rode on. About half an hour afterwards he 
came in sight of another house. It was at a distance from 
the road, and to reach it he was obliged to let down and put 
up again three different sets of fence-bars. The owner was 
not at home, and his wife said that they were not accustomed 
to take in strangers. "It was not far to the next house," 
she added, as the traveller hesitated. 

He reached, at length, the next house, which proved to 
be the residence of another large tobacco planter, who sat 
smoking in its verandah, as the traveller rode near and made 
his petition. 

" We don't take in travellers," was again his answer. 

The sick man stated his special claims to kindness, and the 
planter good-naturedly inquired the particulars, asked how 
far he had ridden, where he got his horse and his dog, whither 
he was bound, and so on (did not ask where he was born or 
what were his politics). The traveller again stated that he 
was ill, unable to ride further, and begged permission to 
remain for the night under the planter's roof, and again the 
planter carelessly replied that they didn't take in travellers ; 
anon, asked how crops were looking further west, and talked 
of guano, the war news, and the prospect for peaches. It 
became dusk while the traveller lingered, and the negroes 
came in with their hoes over their shoulders from the fields 
across the road, but the planter continued chatting and 
smoking, not even offering the traveller a cigar, till at length 
the latter said, " If you really cannot keep me to-night, I 
must go on, sir; I cannot keep my horse much longer, I 
fear." 

"It is not far to the next house." 



316 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

" But I have already called at three houses to-night, sir." 

" Well, you see, since the railroad was done, people here 
don't reckon to take in travellers as they once did. So few 
come along they don't find their account in being ready for 
them." 

The traveller asked for a drink of water, which a negro 
brought in a calabash, bade good night to the planter, and 
rode on through the woods. Night presently set in ; the 
road crossed a swamp and was difficult to follow, and for 
more than an hour he rode on — seeing no house — without 
stopping. Then crossing water, he deliberated whether he 
should not bivouac for the night where he was. He had 
with him a few biscuits and some dried figs. He had not 
eaten hitherto, hoping constantly io come to a habitation 
where it might happen he could get a cup of tea, of which 
he felt more particularly in need. He stopped, took some 
nourishment, the first he had tasted in fifteen hours, and 
taking also a little brandy, gained strength and courage to 
continue his journey. A bright light soon cheered him, and 
after a time he made his way to a large white house, in the 
rear of which was an old negro woman stirring the contents 
of a caldron which stood over the fire, by which he had 
been guided. The old woman had the appearance of a 
house servant, and he requested her to ask her master if he 
would favour him with lodging for the night. 

" Her' master did not take in travellers," she said, " besides, 
he was gone to bed ;" and she stirred on, hardly looking at 
the traveller till he put his hand in his pocket, and, holding 
forth silver, said — ■ 

" Now, aunty, mind what I tell you. Do you go in to 
your master, and say to him, ' There is a gentleman outside 
who says he is sick, and that his horse is tired and has had 
nothing to eat to-day ; that he is a stranger and has been 



OF SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY. 317 

benighted, don't know the roads, is not well enough to ride 
further, and wants to know if you won't be so kind as to let 
him stay here to-night.' " 

" Yes, massa, I'll tell him ; 'twon't do no good, though, and 
he'll be almighty cross." 

She went in, returned after a few minutes, seized her paddle, 
and began stirring before she uttered the words — 

" Says yer ken go on to de store, he reckon." 

It was after ten o'clock when the traveller reached the 
next house. It stood close upon the road, and the voice of a 
woman answered a knock upon the door, and, in reply to the 
demand, said it was not far to the store, and she reckoned 
they accommodated travellers there. 

Finally, at the store, the traveller succeeded in getting 
admittance, was comfortably lodged and well entertained by 
an amiable family. Their kindness was of such a character 
that he felt, in the position of an invited guest, unable to 
demand and uirwilling to suggest any un volunteered service. 
There was no indication that the house was an inn, yet the 
traveller's experience left him little room to hesitate to offer 
money, nor was there the slightest hesitation on the part of the 
storekeeper in naming the amount due for the entertainment he 
had, or in taking it. 

If the reader will accept the traveller's judgment of himself, 
he will assume that there was nothing in his countenance, his 
dress, his language, or his bearing, by which he could readily 
be distinguished from a gentleman of Southern birth and edu- 
cation, and that he was not imagined to be anything else, 
certainly not on Ins first inquiry, at any one of the planta- 
tions where he was thus refused shelter. 

So far as this inhospitality (for this is, I think, what even 
the Southern reader will be inclined to call it) needed explana- 
tion, it was supposed to be sufficiently given in the fact that 



318 COTTON AND SLAVEEY. 

the region had, by the recent construction of a railroad 
through it, approximated the condition of a well-settled and 
organized community, in which the movements of travellers 
are so systematized, that the business of providing for their 
wants, as a matter of pecuniary profit, can no longer be made 
a mere supplement of another business, but becomes a distinct 
occupation. 

This, then, but a small part of the whole land being thus 
affected by railroads, was an exception in the South. True ; 
but what is the rule to which this is the exception ? 

Mr. De Bow says, that the traveller would have had no 
apprehension that the offer of money for chance entertainment 
for the night furnished him at a house on the banks of the 
Connecticut, would give offence ; yet in the Connecticut valley, 
among people having no servants, and not a tithe of the no- 
minal wealth of the Eed Biver planter, or of one of these Vir- 
ginia planters, such has been a frequent experience of the same 
traveller. Nor has he ever, when calling benighted at a house, 
anywhere in the State of Connecticut, far from a public-house, 
escaped being invited with cordial frankness to enjoy such 
accommodation as it afforded ; and this, he is fully convinced, 
without any thought in the majority of cases of pecuniary 
remuneration. In several instances a remuneration in money 
has been refused in a manner which conveyed a reproof of the 
offer of it as indelicate ; and it thus happens that it was a 
common experience of that, of the possibility of which Mr. De 
Bow is unable to conceive, that led in no small degree to the 
hesitation upon which this very comment was made. 

This simple faith in the meanness of the people of the 
North, and especially of New England, is no eccentricity of 
Mr. De Bow's. It is in accordance with the general tone of 
literature and of conversation at the South, that penuriousness, 
disingenuousness, knavish cunning, rant, cowardice, and 



OF SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY. 319 

hypocrisy are assumed to be the prevailing traits by which 
they are distinguished from the people of the South — not the 
poor people of New England from the planters of the South, 
but the people generally from the people generally. Not the 
tone of the political literature and of the lower class of the 
South, but of its wealthy class, very generally, really of its 
"better class." Mr. De Bow is himself the associate of 
gentlemen as well informed and as free from narrow prejudices 
as any at the South No New England man, who has 
travelled at the South, would be surprised, indeed, if, at a 
table at which he were a guest, such an assumption as that of 
Mr. De Bow should be apparent in all the conversation, and 
that the gist of it should be supposed to be so well understood 
and generally conceded, that he could not be annoyed 
thereat. 

I need hardly say that this reference to Mr. De Bow is 
continued, not for the purpose of vindicating the North any 
more than myself from a mistaken criticism. I wish only to 
demonstrate how necessary it must soon be to find other 
means for saving the Union than these commonplace flatteries 
of Southern conceit and apologies for Southern folly, to which 
we have not only become so accustomed ourselves, as to hardly 
believe our eyes when we are obliged to meet the facts (as 
was my own case), but by which we have so successfully im- 
posed upon our friends, that a man like Mr. De Bow actually 
supposes that the common planters of the teeming and sunny 
South, are, as a rule, a more open-handed, liberal, and hospi- 
table class than the hard-working farmers of the bleak and 
sterile hills of New England ; so much so, that he feels war- 
ranted not merely in stating facts within his personal know- 
ledge, illustrating the character of the latter and arguing the 
causes, but in incidentally referring to their penuriousness as a 
matter of proverbial contempt. Against this mistake, which, 



320 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

I doubt not, is accomplishing constant mischief to our nation, 
I merely oppose the facts of actual experience. I wish to do 
so with true respect for the good sense of the South. 

Presenting myself, and known only in the character of a 
chance traveller, most likely to be in search of health, enter- 
tainment, and information ; usually taken for and treated as a 
Southerner, until I stated that I was not one, I journeyed 
nearly sis months at one time (my second journey) through the 
South. • During all this journey, I came not often er than 
once a week, on an average, to public-houses, and was thus 
generally forced to seek lodging and sustenance at private 
houses. Often it was refused me ; not unfrequently rudely 
refused. But once did I meet with what Northern readers 
could suppose Mr. De Bow to mean by the term (used in the 
same article), "free road-side hospitality." Not once with 
the slightest appearance of what Noah Webster defines hospi- 
tality — the " practice of receiving or entertaining strangers 
without reward." 

Only twice, in a journey of four thousand miles, made in- 
dependently of public conveyances, did I receive a night's 
lodging or a repast from a native Southerner, without having 
the exact price in money which I was expected to pay for it 
stated to me by those at whose hands I received it. 

If what I have just narrated had been reported to me 
before I travelled in the manner I did in my second joiuney 
at the South, I should have had serious doubts of either the 
honesty or the sanity of the reporter. I know, therefore, to 
what I subject myself in now giving my own name to it. I 
could not but hesitate to do this, as one would be cautious in 
acknowledging that he believed himself to have seen the sea- 
serpent, or had discovered a new motive power. By drawing 



OF SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY. 321 

out the confidence of other travellers, who had chanced to 

move through the South in a manner at all similar, however, 

I have had the satisfaction of finding that I am not altogether 

solitary in my experience. Even this day I met one fresh 

from the South-west, to whom, after due approach, I gave the 

article which is the text of these observations, asking to he 

told how he had found it in New England and in Mississippi. 

He replied . 

- ''During four winters, I have travelled for a business purpose two 
months eacli winter in Mississippi. I have generally spent the night at 
houses with whose inmates I had some previous acquaintance. Where I 
had business transactions, especially where debts were due to me, which 
could not be paid, I sometimes neglected to offer payment for my night's 
lodging, but in no other case, and never iv. a single instance, so far as I 
can now recollect, where I had offered payment, has there been any hesi- 
tation in taking it. A planter might refrain from asking payment of a 
traveller, but it is universally expected. In New England, as far as my 
limited experience goes, it is not so. I have known New England farmers' 
wives take a small gratuity after lodging travellers, but always with appa- 
rent hesitation. I have known New England farmers refuse to do so. I 
have had some experience in Iowa; money is there usually (not always) 
taken for lodging travellers. The principal difference between the custom 
at private houses there and in Alabama and Mississippi being, that in 
Iowa the farmer seems to carefully reckon the exact value ot the produce 
you have consumed, and to charge for it at what has often seemed to me 
an absurdly low rate ; while in Mississippi, I have usually paid irom four 
to six times as much as in Iowa, for similar accommodations. I consider 
the usual charges of planters to travellers extortionate, and the custom 
the reverse of hospitable. I knew of a Kentucky gentleman travelling 
from Eutaw to Greensboro' [twenty miles] in his own conveyance. He 
was taken sick at the crossing of the Warrior River. It was nine o'clock 
at night. He averred to me that he called at every plantation on the 
road, and stated that he was a Kentuekian, and sick, but was refused lodg- 
ing at each of them." 

This the richest county of Alabama, and the road is lined 
with valuable plantations ! 

The following is an extract from a letter dated Columbus, 
Mississippi, November 24, 1856, published in the London 
Daily News. It is written by an Englishman travelling for 

VOL. II. Y 



322 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

commercial purposes, and tells what he has learned by ex- 
perience of the custom of the country : 

'■It is customary in travelling through this country, where towns are 
few and taverns scarce and vile, to stop at the planters' houses along the 
road, and pay for your bed and board in the morning just as if you had 
stayed at an inn. The custom is rather repugnant to our Old World notions 
of hospitality, but it appears to me an excellent one for both the host and 
his guest. The one feels less bored by demands upon his kindness, as soon 
as it ceases to be merely a kindness to comply with them, and the other 
has no fear about intruding or being troublesome when he knows he will 
have to pay for his entertainment. It is rarely, however, that the entree 
can be obtained into the houses of wealthy planters in this way. They 
will not be bothered by your visits, and, if you apply to them, have no hesi- 
tation in politely passing you on to such of their neighbours as have less 
money or more generosity." 

The same writer afterwards relates the following experi- 
ence : — 

" About nineteen miles from Canton, I sought lodging at nightfall at a 
snug house on the roadside, inhabited by an old gentleman and his two 
daughters, who possessed no slaves and grew no cotton, and whose two 
sons had been killed in the Mexican war, and who, with the loudest pro- 
fessions of hospitality, cautiously refrained from giving himself any per- 
sonal trouble in support of them. He informed me that there was corn in 
the husk in an almost inaccessible loft, there was fodder in an un-get-at- 
able sort of a cage in the yard, water in a certain pond about half a mile 
off, and a currycomb in a certain hole in the wall. Having furnished me 
with this intelligence, he left me to draw my own conclusions as to what 
my conduct ought to be under the circumstances." 

A naturalist, the author of a well-known standard work, 
who has made several tours of observation in the Slave 
States, lately confided to me that he believed that the popular 
report of Southern hospitality must be a popular romance, 
for never, during all his travels in the South, had he chanced 
to be entertained for a single night, except by gentlemen to 
whom he was formally presented by letter, or who had pre- 
viously been under obligations to him, without paying for it 
in money, and to an amount quite equal to the value received. 
By the wealthier, a night's entertainment had been frequently 



OF SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY. 323 

refused hira, under circumstances which, as must have been 
evident to them, rendered his further progress seriously in- 
convenient. Once, while in company with a foreign natu- 
ralist — a titled man — he had been dining at the inn of a 
small county-town, when a certain locally distinguished 
judge had seen fit to be eloquent at the dinner-table upon the 
advantages of slavery in maintaining a class of "high-toned 
gentlemen," referring especially to the proverbial hospitality of 
Southern plantations, which he described as quite a bewilder- 
ment to strangers, and nothing like which was to be found in 
any country unblessed with slavery, or institutions equivalent 
to it. It so happened that the following night the travellers, 
on approaching a plantation mansion in quest of lodging, 
were surprised to find that they had fallen upon the residence 
of this same judge, who recognized them, and welcomed them 
and bade them be at home. Embarrassed by a recollection 
of his discourse of hospitality, it was with some difficulty that 
one of them, when they were taking leave next morning, 
brought himself to inquire what he might pay for the enter- 
tainment they had received. He was at once relieved by the 
judge's prompt response, "Dollar and a quarter apiece, I 
reckon." 

It is very true that the general custom of the South which 
leads a traveller to ask for a lodging at any private house he 
may chance to reach near nightfall, and to receive a favour- 
able answer not merely as a favour but as a matter of business, 
is a convenient one, is one indeed almost necessary in a 
country so destitute of villages, and where, off certain 
thoroughfares of our merchants, there are so few travellers. 
It is a perfectly respectable and entirely sensible custom, but 
it is not, as is commonly represented to be, a custom of hos- 
pitality, and it is not at all calculated to induce customs of 
hospitality with the mass of citizens. It is calculated to 

y 2 



u24 cotton and slavery. 

make inhospitality of habit and inhospitality of character the 
general rule ; hospitality of habit and of character the ex- 
ception. Yet the common misapplication of the word to this 
custom is, so far as I can ascertain, the only foundation of 
the arrogant assumption of superiority of character in this 
respect of the Southerners over ourselves — the only ground 
of the claim that slavery breeds a race of more generous and 
hospitable citizens than freedom. 

The difficulty of giving anything like an intelligent and 
exact estimate of the breeding of any people or of any class 
of people is almost insurmountable, owing to the vagueness 
of the terms which must be used, or rather to the quite 
different ideas which different readers will attach to these 
terms. The very word which I have employed to designate 
my present subject has itself such a varied signification that 
it needs to be denned at the outset. I mean to employ it in 
that sense wherein, according to Webster, it covers the 
ground of " nurture, instruction, and the formation of man- 
ners." It is something more than "manners and customs," 
then, and includes, or may include, qualities which, if not 
congenital, are equally an essential part of character with 
those qualities which are literally in-bred of a man. Such 
qualities are mainly the result of a class of circumstances, 
of the influence of which upon his character and manners 
a man, or a child growing to a man, is usually unconscious, 
and of which he cannot be independent if he would. 

The general difficulty is increased in dealing with the 
people of the Slave States, because among themselves all 
terms defining social rank and social characteristics are 
applied in a manner which can be understood only after con- 
siderable experience; and also because the general terms of 
classification, always incomplete in their significance, fail 



OF SOUTHERN BREEDING. 325 

entirely with a large class of Southerners, whose manners 
have some characteristics which would elsewhere be thought 
"high bred," if they had not other which are elsewhere 
univer sally esteemed low and ruffianly. 

There are undoubted advantages resulting from the effects 
of slavery upon the manners of some persons. Somewhat 
similar advantages I have thought that I perceived to have 
resulted in the Free States, where a family has been educated 
under favourable influences in a frontier community. There 
is boldness, directness, largeness, confidence, with the effect 
of the habitual sense of superiority to most of the commu- 
nity; not superiority of wealth, and power from wealth 
merely, but of a mind well stocked and refined by such ad- 
vantages of education as only very unusual wealth, or very 
unusual individual energy, rightly directed, can procure 
in a scattered and frontier community. When to this is 
added the effect of visits to the cultivated society of denser 
t'ommunities ; when refined and polished manners are grafted 
on a natural, easy abandon ; when there is high culture with- 
out effeminacy either of body or mind, as not unfrequently 
happens, we find a peculiarly respectable and agreeable sort 
of men and women. They are the result of frontier training 
under the most favourable circumstances. In the class 
finthest removed from this on the frontier — people who have 
grown up without civilized social restraints or encouragements 
and always under what in a well-conditioned community would 
be esteemed great privations — happens, on the other hand, 
the most disagreeable specimen of mankind that the world 
breeds ; men of a sort almost peculiar to America and Aus- 
tralia ; border ruffians, of whom the " rowdies " of our eastern 
towns are tame reflections. Cooper has well described the 
first class in many instances. I know of no picture of the 
latter which represents them as detestable as I have found them. 



326 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

The whole South is maintained in a frontier condition by 
the system which is apologized for on the ground that it 
favours good breeding. This system, at the same time, 
tends to concentrate wealth in a few hands. If there is 
wisdom and great care in the education of a family thus 
favoured, the result which we see at the North, under the 
circumstances I have described, is frequently reproduced. 
There are many more such fruits of frontier life at the South 
than the North, because there is more frontier life. There 
is also vastly more of the other sort, and there is everything 
between, which degrees of wealth and degrees of good fortune 
in education would be expected to occasion. The bad breed 
of the frontier, at the South, however, is probably far worse 
than that of the North, because the frontier condition of the 
South is everywhere permanent. The child born to-day on 
the Northern frontier, in most cases, before it is ten years old, 
will be living in a well organized and tolerably well provided 
community; schools, churches, libraries, lecture and concert 
halls, daily mails and printing presses, shops and machines 
in variety, having arrived within at least a day's journey of 
it ; being always within an inluencing distance of it. There 
are improvements, and communities loosely and gradually 
cohering in various parts of the South, but so slowly, so 
feebly, so irregularly, that men's minds and habits are knit 
firm quite independently of this class of social influences. 

There is one other characteristic of the Southerner, which 
is far more decided than the difference of climate merely 
would warrant, and which is to be attributed not only 
to the absence of the ordinary restraints and means of 
discipline of more compact communities in his education, but 
unquestionably also to the readiness and safety with which, 
by reason of slavery, certain passions and impulses may be 
indulged. Every white Southerner is a person of importance ; 



OF SOUTHERN BREEDING. 327 

must be treated with deference. Every wish of the South- 
erner is imperative ; every belief undoubted ; every hate, venge- 
ful ; every love, fiery. Hence, for instance, the scandalous 
fiend-like street fights of the South. If a young man feels 
offended with another, he does not incline to a ring and a fair 
stand-up set-to, like a young Englishman ; he will not at- 
tempt to overcome his opponent by logic ; he wall not be 
content to vituperate, or to cast ridicule upon him ; he is 
impelled straightway to strike him down with the readiest 
deadly weapon at hand, with as little ceremony and pretence 
of fair combat as the loose organization of the people against 
violence will allow. He seems crazy for blood. Intensity of 
personal pride — pride in anything a man has, or which con- 
nects itself with him, is more commonly evident. Hence, in- 
tense local pride and prejudice ; hence intense partisanship ; 
hence rashness and over-confidence ; hence visionary ambition ; 
hence assurance in debate ; hence assurance in society. As 
self-appreciation is equally with deference a part of what we call 
good breeding, and as the expression of deference is much 
more easily reduced to a matter of manners and forms, in the 
commonplace intercourse of society, than self-appreciation, 
this characteristic quality of the Southerner needs to be borne 
in mind in considering the port and manners he commonly 
has, and judging from them of the effects of slavery. 

It must be also considered that the ordinary occupations 
and amusements of people of moderate wealth at the North 
are seldom resorted to at the South, that public entertain- 
ments of any land, for instance, are impracticable to a sparse 
population; consequently that where men of wealth are 
socially disposed, all intercourse with others is highly valued, 
prepared for, and made the most of. Hence, with these, 
the act of social intercourse is more highly esteemed, and 
is much more frequently carried to a nice perfection of 



328 COTTON AND SLAVEKY. 

manner than it usually is with men otherwise of correspond- 
ing education, and habits at the North. 

In a Northern community a man who is not greatly occu- 
pied with private business is. sure to become interested in 
social enterprises and to undertake duties in them which will 
demand a great deal of time and strength. School, road, 
cemetery, asylum, and church corporations ; bridge, ferry, and 
water companies ; literary, scientific, art, mechanical, agri- 
cultural and benevolent societies ; all these things are 
managed chiefly by the unpaid services of gentlemen during 
hours which they can spare from their private interests. In 
the successful operations of such enterprises they find much 
of the satisfaction of their life. So, too, our young men, 
who are not obliged to devote their thoughts chiefly to 
business success, are members and managers of reading rooms, 
public libraries, gymnasiums, game clubs, boat clubs, ball 
clubs, and all sorts of clubs, Bible classes, debating societies, 
military companies ; they are planting road-side trees, or 
damming streams for skating ponds, or rigging diving-boards, 
or getting up firework displays, or private theatricals ; they 
are always doing something, not conversing for the entertain- 
ment of the moment. Planters, the details of whose business 
fall into the hands of overseers, and young men of fortune, at 
the South, have, when at home on the plantation, none 
of these occupations. Their talents all turn into two 
channels, politics and sociality ; the very paucity of society 
making it the more esteemed and the more carefully used. 
Social intercourse at the North is a relaxation from the 
ordinary bent of men's talents ; at the South, it is that to 
which mainly their talents are bent. Hence, with men who 
are otherwise on a par, in respect of natural advantages and 
education, the Southerner will have a higher standard of 
manners than the Northerner, because, with liim, social inter- 



OF SOUTHERN BREEDING. 329 

course is the grand resource to which all other possible 
occupations of his mind become subordinate. The Northerner, 
being troubled by no monotony, unquestionably too much 
neglects at present this, the highest and final art of every 
type of civilization. In making this comparison, however, 
it must not be forgotten that it is made between men who are 
supposed to be equal in all respects, except in the possession 
of this advantage, and who are equally at leisure from any 
necessary habitual occupation for a livelihood. 

Having conceded to the South certain elements of advan- 
tage in this respect, for a single class, it still remains to 
inquire where is the greatest weight of advantage for this 
class, and for all classes of our citizens. In attempting to 
make such a general comparison, I shall begin at the bottom 
of the social ladder, and return to the class who can in a 
great degree choose how they will be occupied. 

In the North at the Revolution we scarcely had a distinct 
class corresponding to the lowest white class of Virginia, as 
described by Jefferson, our labourers being less ignorant and 
coarse in their habits, and associating much more familiarly 
with their betters. We have now a class more nearly corre- 
sponding to it furnished by the Em-opean peasant immigra- 
tion. It is, however, a transient class, somewhat seldom 
including two generations, and, on an average, I trust, not 
one. It is therefore practically not an additional class, but, 
overlooking the aged and diseased, a supplement to our lowest 
normal class. Out of twenty Irish emigrants, landing in New 
York, perfectly destitute, of whose history I have been 
intimately cognizant, only two, both of whorn were over fifty 
years of age, have lived out five years here without beginning 
to acquire wealth and becoming superior in their ambition 
and habits to the lowest order, which I believe to include a 
majority of the whites in the plantation districts of the 



330 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

South.* Our lowest class, therefore, has a higher standard 
than the lowest class of the Slave States. This, I under- 
stand, is made very evident where the two come together 
at the West, as in southern Illinois. The very poorest and 
lowest New England women who go there are frequently 
offended by the inconsiderate rudeness and coarseness of the 
women immigrating from the South, and shocked by their 
"shiftless," comfortless, vagrant habits, so much so that 
families have often removed, after having been once esta- 
blished, to escape being bored and annoyed by their Southern- 
born neighbours. 

Referring to the lowest class, North and South, as the 
fourth, I class as third, the lowest rank in society, North or 
South, in which regard is had by its members to the quality 
of their associates from other than moral motives, or the 
prejudices of locality, race, sectarianism, and politics. In 
other words, that in which there is a distinct social seleetive- 
ness and pride. I think that everywhere in the Free States 
men of this class would almost universally feel their position 
damaged — be a little ashamed — if obliged to confess that they 
did not take a newspaper, or were unable to read it with a 
clear understanding of the intelligence it was intended to com- 
municate. Allusions to the main facts of American history, 
to any clause of the Bible, to the provisions of the Constitu- 
tion, and the more important laws, State and National, would 
be understood in most cases by those whom I refer to as the 
third class in Northern society. In few families of this class 
would you fail to find some volumes of the English poets. 
or some works of great novelists or renowned travellers. No- 

* 1 fear that it must be confessed that this general rule has now a multitude 
of exceptions in our large towns, where, in New York, especially, we seem taking 
some pains to form a permanent lower class. With the present great and ap- 
parently permanent falling off in the European emigration it can hardly last, 
however. 



OF SOUTHERN BREEDING. ooi 

thing like this would you find, however, in a grade of society 
distinctly superior to the lowest at the South. 

The ratio of the number of the citizens who cannot read at 
all to the whole, appears, by the census returns, to be only 
three times larger at the South than at the North. I believe 
it to be much greater at the South than these returns in- 
dicate.* The comparative education of the third class " North " 
and of the third class " South," however, cannot be at all 
judged from these statistics, supposing them correct. Those 
who can read and who do not read, or whose reading is con- 
fined within extremely narrow limits, are a much larger 
number at the South than at the North, owing to the much 
poorer supply of books and newspapers which commerce can 
afford to put within the reach of the former. The census 
returns two million newspapers, for instance, printed annually 
in Virginia, one hundred and fifteen million in New York. 
There is a post-office to every fourteen square miles in New 
York, one to forty-seven square miles in Virginia ; over five 
hundred publishers and booksellers in New York, but forty 
in Virginia. Thirty thousand volumes in public libraries in 
Virginia, eight hundred thousand in New York. The area 
occupied by the population of Virginia being much the largest, 
it may be inferred that with the disposition and the ability to 
read anything in particular, the Virginian of the third class 
will have to travel more than thirty times as far as the New 
Yorker to procure it. The same proposition will hold good 
in regard to most other means of cultivation, and the third 

* The ratio of white illiterate to white population, per cent., as returned, 
. j Free States, 3-36 
ls » \ ei 8-Q7 °^" ^ ne na ti^e population, over twenty years old, it 

. J Free States, 4-12 

ls > -j m „ 17.0" (Census Compendium, pp. 152, 153). The ability to 

merely read and write may itself be of little value, but the fact of a child's having 
had the painstaking necessary to so far instruct him is in some degree a means of 
measuring his other inherited wealth, and thus his breeding. 



332 COTTON AND SLAVEKY. 

class of the South generally has seemed to ine to he as much 
more narrow-minded, rude, coarse, " dangerous," and miser- 
able, than the third class of the Free States, as the most 
sanguine friend of popular education could anticipate from 
these facts. 

The great difference in character between the third class of 
the South and that of the North, as indicated by their re- 
spective manners, is found in the much less curiosity and 
ready intelligent interest in matters which have not an imme- 
diate personal bearing in that of the South. Apathetic care- 
lessness rather than simple indifference, or reckless incivility 
as to your comfort, is what makes the low Southerner a 
disagreeable companion. It is his impertinent shrewdness 
which makes you wish to keep the Yankee at a distance. 
The first seems without object, spiritless ; the latter keen to 
better himself, if with nothing else, with information which 
he can draw from you, and by gaining your good opinion. 

The next or second class would include, both North and 
South, those with whose habits and character I am most 
familiar, and of whom I can speak with the best right to 
confidence. It would include in New England and New 
York the better educated farmers — these owning, I should 
say, half the agricultural land — the permanently established 
manufacturers and merchants of moderate capital ; most of 
the shopkeepers and the better-educated master mechanics 
and artisan foremen ; most of the preachers, physicians, 
and lawyers (some ranking higher). It would correspond 
most nearly to what in England would be called the lower- 
middle class, but any higher grade being very ill-defined, 
existing distinctly but in few localities, and rarely recognized 
as existing at all, it is in a great measure free from the 
peculiar vulgarity of its English parallel. 

The number of those at the South who correspond in 



OF SOUTHERN BREEDING. 333 

education and refinement of manners and habits to the average 
of this class of the North, it will be evident, from a similar 
mode of reasoning to that before employed, must be very 
much smaller relatively, either to the territory or the whole 
white population of their respective regions. 

In the comparison commonly made by Southern writers 
between the condition of the people of a sparsely-settled 
country and another, it is usually assumed that the advan- 
tages of the latter are confined exclusively to towns, and to 
large and crowded towns. By contrasting the evils which 
concentrate in such towns with the favourable circumstances 
of localities where at least wood, water, and air are abundant, 
and corn enough to support life can usually be got by any 
one with a little occasional labour, an argument of some 
force to ignorant people is easily presented. The advantages 
possessed by a people living in moderately well-occupied rural 
districts, who are even more free from the evils of great 
towns than their own people, are entirely overlooked by most 
Southern writers. Such is the condition, however, of more 
white people in the Free States than the whole white popula- 
tion of the Slave States. A majority of our farmers' daughters 
can walk from their dwellings to schools of a quality such as 
at the South can be maintained not twice in five hundred 
square miles. These schools are practically a part of their 
homes. Probably, in more than half the families of the 
South, the children of which are instructed to the least degree 
which would be considered "respectable," among this second 
class of the North, private governesses are obliged to be 
employed, or the children must be for many years at boarding- 
schools. We all know that the young women who go to the 
South, to meet the demand thus occasioned for home educa- 
tion, are not generally, though they may be in cases, our own 
re.osi esteemed and successful instructresses; and we also 



334 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

know from their report that their skill and labour has 
necessarily to be long chiefly employed in laying those simple 
foundation habits of instr notability, which our Northern chil- 
dren acquire imperceptibly from association with those of the 
neighbourhood slightly in advance of them. Churches and 
the various sub-organizations centreing in them, in which 
class distinctions are much lost sight of, to the great advan- 
tage of the manners of the lower classes, and little chance 
of injury to the higher ; libraries ; literary societies ; lecture 
arrangements ; dramatic and musical, art and scientific 
entertainments, and also highly educated professional men, 
with whom, for various purposes, many persons are brought 
often in contact, are correspondingly more frequent at the 
North, correspondingly more accessible ; in other words, the 
advantages to be derived from them are cheaper, and so more 
influential on the manners of the people at large. 

The common opinion has been that the Southerners or 
planters of the class now under consideration, are more social, 
more generous, more heartily kind and genial than Northerners. 
According to my experience, the reverse of all this is true, as 
a general rule. Families live so isolatedly at the South, that 
any social contact, out of the family, is of course much more 
eventful and stimulating than it is ordinarily at the North, 
and this accounts for the common opinion. I could not but 
think, however, that most persons at the South looked to the 
voluntary good offices and conversation of others, both within 
and without their families, for their enjoyment of the world, 
much less than most at the North. It may be that when in 
towns they attach a greater value to, and are more careful to 
make use of the opportunities for social gathering afforded by 
towns, than are Northerners. In towns they attach more 
consequence to forms, are more scrupulous in matters of 
etiquette, more lavish in expenditure for dress, and for certain 



OF SOUTHERN BEEEDING. 335 

other things which are the signs of luxury rather than luxury 
itself, such as plate and fancy brands of wines. They make 
less show of fine art and less pretence of artistic judgment ; 
more of respect and regard for their associates, and of indif- 
ference or superiority to all others. 

As to manner or deportment simply, with the same impulse 
and intention, that of the Southerner will habitually, under 
ordinary circumstances, be best, more true, more composed, 
more dignified. I have said that the second class at the 
North is without the pervading vulgarity of the class to which 
it most nearly corresponds in England, the reason being that 
those which constitute it seldom wish or attempt to appear to 
belong to a superior class, not clearly recognizing a superior 
class. Individuals, however, very generally have a strong 
desire to be thought better informed, more ingenious, more 
witty, as well as more successful in their enterprises than 
they are, and this stamps them with a peculiar quality of 
manners vulgarly called " smartness," the absence of which 
makes Southern men and women generally much more agree- 
able companions than Northerners of the same degree of 
education and accomplishments in other respects. Not but 
that snobs abound ; of these it will be more convenient to 
speak under the next division, however. 

The traditional "old family," stately but condescending, 
haughty but jovial, keeping open house for all comers on the 
plantations of Virginia or South Carolina, is not wholly a myth. 

There really was something which, with some sort of pro- 
priety, could be termed a gentry in Carolina and Virginia in 
then colony days ; yet of the names which are now thought 
to have belonged to it, as descended of brave, loyal, and 
adventurous cavaliers, some I once saw in London upon an 
old freight-list of a ship outward bound for Virginia, with the 
addition of tinker and tailor, poacher and pickpocket, all to 



336 COTTON AND SLAVEKY. 

be sold for life, or a term of years, to the highest bidder when 
they should arrive. A large majority of the fathers of Vir- 
ginia were unquestionably of this class. 

What was properly to be termed the gentry in Virginia and 
South Carolina previous to the Eevolution, was very small in 
number. A large proportion of the families who composed it, 
and who remained after the Eevolution in the country (for many 
were Tories) have since passed in all their branches through a 
poverty-stricken period, very dissipating in its influence upon 
hereditary breeding, novelists and dramatic old servants to 
the contrary notwithstanding. Many of those who have re- 
tained wealth and family pride in succession to the present 
time, have undeniably, from various causes, degenerated 
wofully in breeding. Coarse tastes and brutal dispositions 
cannot be disguised under a cavalier address, and the most 
assured readiness in the established forms of polite society. 
Of the real " old families " which remain at all " well bred " 
in their qualities, habits, and manners, by reason of their 
lineage, I think it will be difficult for most readers who have 
not studied the matter at all to form a sufficiently small esti- 
mate ; call them a dozen or a hundred, what does it matter 
in a region much larger than the old German empire ? Asso- 
ciating with these are a few hundred more new or recuperated 
families, in which there is also the best breeding, and in cer- 
tain few parts or districts of the South, to be defined and 
numbered without difficulty, there is a wealthy, distinct, 
generous, hospitable, refined, and accomplished first class, 
clinging with some pertinacity, although with too evident an 
effort, to the traditional manners and customs of an esta- 
blished gentry. 

There was a gentry in the North as well as in Virginia 
and Carolina in the colony period, though a less important 
and numerous one. As the North has been much more pros- 



OF SOUTHERN BREEDING. 337 

perous, as the value of its property has much more rapidly 
increased than that of the South, the advantages of wealth 
have, I believe, been more generally retained in families, and 
probably the number of those who could trace their breeding 
in an uninterrupted parental influence from the colonial 
gentry, is now larger at the North than the South. 

Including new families, in whose habits and manners and 
conversation the best bred people of Europe would find no- 
thing more offensive and inharmonious with themselves than 
might be ascribed to local fashion or a desire to avoid appear- 
ances which, though perfectly proper in an aristocratic society, 
would be snobbish in a rejmblic, there is unquestionably at this 
time a very much larger number of thoroughly well-bred 
people in the Free than in the Slave States. It is equally 
certain that the proportion of such people to the whole popu- 
lation of whites is larger at the North than the South. 

The great majority of wealthy planters who at the present 
day assume for themselves a special social respectability and 
superiority to the class I have defined as the second, are, as 
a general rule, not only distinguished for all those qualities 
which our satirists and dramatists are accustomed to assume 
to be the especial property of the newly rich of the Fifth 
Avenue, but, as far as I have had opportunity to observe 
both classes, are far more generally and ridiculously so than 
the would-be fashionable people of New York, or of any other 
part of the United States. It is a part of the role they 
undertake to act, to be hospitable and generous, as it was 
lately that of our fops to be sleepy and critical. They are 
not hospitable and generous, however; they know not the 
meaning of these terms. They are absurdly ostentatious in 
entertainment, and extravagant in the purchase of notoriety ; 
possibly they have more tact in this than our Potiphars, but 
such has not been my personal observation. 

VOL. II. z 



338 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 



CHAPTEE IX. 

THE DANGER OF THE SOUTH. 

' Before the advent of modern science, any idea of systematic laws of 
human improvement would have been deemed alike impossible and absurd ; 
but the constant observation of facts, the exact statistics recorded, the pro- 
gress of science in all departments, has made it possible to conceive of, and 
probable that there actually exist uniform laws of social movement, based 
upon any given condition of society. If the elementary social condition be 
different in regard to religion, government, arts, science, industry, the 
resulting movements of society will be different. Hence, when we have 
ascertained by accurate observation upon and record of the social pheno- 
mena, that the social movement is uniformly in a certain direction, and 
that certain results uniformly follow, we shall know in what elements the 
conditions of society must be changed, in order to change the results. 
Hence, when this law of social movements is ascertained, the philanthro- 
pist, legislator, and jurist will know precisely what must be done, and how, 
in order to remove the evils, or reform the wrongs, or produce the results 
they desire. They will know that certain elementary conditions of society 
must be changed, and they well know that by removing temptations, or 
laying restraints, or enlightening the mind, or changing the course of in- 
dustry, or producing new arts, they will change the social tendency, and 
thus change the results. * * * Society, or that part of it which thinks and 
acts, can change the results by changing the elementary conditions which 
produce them. When you know exactly what the change ought to be, it 
is not very difficult to produce it ; nor does it follow that because a thou- 
sand crimes must be committed in Ohio, that a thousand particular indi- 
viduals must commit them. It is true that the individual frequently acts 
from motives, but is it not just as true that the individual frequently 
seeks these motives, and presents them to himself?" — From the Beport of 
the Ohio State Commissioner of Statistics, 1859. 

" If there is a first principle in intellectual education it is this — that the 
discipline which does good to the mind is that in which the mind is active, 
not that in which it is passive. The secret for developing the faculties is 
to give them much to do, and much inducement to do it." — Mill's Political 
Economy. 



THE DANGER OF THE SOUTH. 339 

The field-hand negro is, on an average, a very poor an 1 
very bad creature, much worse than I had supposed before I 
had seen him and grown familiar with his stupidity, indolence, 
duplicity, and sensuality. He seems to be but an imperfect 
man, incapable of taking care of himself in a civilized manner, 
and his presence in large numbers must be considered a 
dangerous circumstance to a civilized people. 

A civilized people, within which a large number of such 
creatures has been placed by any means not within its own 
control, has claims upon the charity, the aid, if necessary, of 
all other civilized peoples in its endeavours to relieve itself 
from the danger which must be apprehended from their 
brutal propensities, from the incompleteness of their human 
sympathies — their inhumanity — from their natural love of 
ease, and the barbaric want of forethought and providence, 
which would often induce desperate want among them. Evi- 
dently the people thus burthened would have need to provide 
systematically for the physical wants of these poor creatures, 
else the latter would be liable to prey with great waste upon 
their substance. Perhaps the very best thing to do would be 
to collect them into small herds, and attach each herd to a 
civilized family, the head of which should be responsible for 
its safe keeping. Such a superintendent should of course 
contrive, if possible, to make his herd contribute in some way 
to the procuring of its necessary sustenance ; and if, besides 
this, he even turned their feeble abilities to such good ac- 
count by his superior judgment, that they actually procured 
a considerable surplus of food and clothing for the benefit of 
others, should not Christendom applaud and encourage his ex- 
ertions, even if a certain amount of severity and physical con- 
straint had been found necessary to accomplish this success ? 

Let us endeavour to assume a similar difficulty for our- 

z 2 



340 COTTON AND SLAVER V. 

selves. Let us suppose that a large part — the proportion 
varying with the locality — of our own community should 
next year suffer from some new malady, the result of which 
should in no case be fatal, hut which should, like the goitre of 
Savoy, leave all who were affected by it permanently injured 
in their intellects, with diminished bodily activity, and fiercer 
animal propensities. (I take this method of stating the case, 
because some of us who only see the negro as he exists at the 
North might find it difficult to imagine him as he is known 
to the planters.) 

Suppose, further, that this malady should be confined to 
certain families, as if its seed had been received hundreds of 
years ago by numerous individuals, and only their descend- 
ants (but all of these to the most distant trace of the blood) 
now suffered from it. Also, that some of our doctors should 
be of the opinion that the effects of the malady upon the 
intellect would descend to the children, and to all descendants 
of those who suffered. Suppose that these unfortunates 
should be subject to certain hallucinations, that they should 
be liable to think themselves sane and able to take care of 
themselves, and that when possessed with these ideas that 
they should be quite cunning and dangerous in attempting to 
exercise the usual prerogatives of sane men. 

What should we do with them ? 

Finding them in a degree tractable ; and sensible enough, 
after all, to yield readily, if not cheerfully, to superior force, 
we might herd them together on a sort of farm-hospitals, and 
let them earn their living, giving especially capable men 
charge of many, and rewarding them with good salaries, and 
ordinary small farmers, smaller numbers, with smaller com- 
pensations for overseeing them ? 

Of course, we should place every possible legislative guard 
and check upon these superintendents and overseers to secure 



THE DANGER (DP THE SOUTH. 841 

fair and honest dealing, to prevent theni from making per- 
quisites for themselves at the expense of a reasonable comfort 
in their institutions. Careful instructions to secure economical 
sustenance, and how to turn such labour as could be got from 
the unfortunates to the best account, in defraying the cost of 
their keeping, would also be framed by talented men and 
furnished each keeper. 

And having regard to national wealth, to the tempore 
good of the commonwealth, this is about all that common 
sense would lead us to do, at least through the agency of 
government. 

Is this all, reader ? 

You have too much overlooked our small matters of State, 
if you think so. We have a few crazy people, a few fools, 
not enough to be a matter of much consideration to our 
statesmen or legislators, yet we have a State system in our 
dealing with them, such as it is, and such as it is it puts our 
dealing with them on a little different footing than would 
the system I have above imagined. What I have imagined 
is not quite all we have for some time been in the habit of 
doing when we did anything with this class. And judging 
from what we have done, it does not seem as if it would be 
all that we should do in such an emergency as I have sup- 
posed, engaging as it would all the talent of the country to 
diminish as much as possible the necessary results of the 
calamity. 

We should, it appears, call upon our learned doctors 
eagerly to study ; we should each of us eagerly observe for our- 
selves whether the fearful infirmity by which so many were 
incapacitated for their former usefulness, were not only abso- 
lutely incurable, but also absolutely not possible to be alleviated. 
And if our observation should satisfy us, if our doctors could 



342 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

not deny that, with judicious treatment, a considerable alle- 
viation could be effected, so much so indeed, that with a 
very large part a close approximation to the normal condition 
of sane and capable mankind could be obtained, there are 
doubtless those amongst us who would think this a danger- 
ous and an infidel presumption. Just as every year some 
miserable wretch is found in our dark places to have a crazy 
father or brother whom he keeps in a cage in his garret, 
and whose estate he takes care of, and who is of the opinion 
that it will be of no use, but, on the contrary, a manifest 
defiance of Divine Providence, and most dangerous to life 
and property to let this unfortunate out of his cage, to sur- 
round him with comforts, and contrive for him cheerful occupa- 
tion, as our State requires shall be done. But would the 
average common sense and humanity of the people of the 
Free States allow them to refuse all reduction from their usual 
annual incomes ; refuse to suffer all necessary addition to 
their usual taxes ; refuse to burden their minds with the 
difficulties of the all-absorbing problem, in order to initiate 
a remedial system ? Our worst and most cowardly legisla- 
ture would never dare adjourn leaving this duty incompletely 
performed. There are thousands on thousands of our citizens 
who would not only spare from their incomes, but would 
divide their estates for such a purpose. There is not a 
county that would not submit to the highest war taxes for it. 
Suppose that the doctors and that the universal observa- 
tion of the community should determiue that the defective 
class were not only capable of being improved, but that so 
far as their limited intellects permitted, the laws of improve- 
ment were the same for them as for healthy men ; that they 
were found to be influenced by a liking for food and drink, 
for the society of each other and of sane men, for the admira- 
tion and respect of each other and of sane men, for their 



THE DANGER OF THE SOUTH. 343 

ease, for dancing, for music and other amusements ; and that 
their imperfect natures could be acted upon, drawn out, and 
enlarged by means of these likings. Suppose that it were 
found that nearly all of them had still some knowledge of 
religion, that although they were inclined sometimes to 
consider sane men as their enemies, they were yet, in most 
cases, by judicious play upon their inclinations and disincli- 
nations, capable of being trained quite beyond the most 
sagacious of our domestic animals, even to read intelligently. 
Should we, because there were .so many of them, go back 
two hundred years in our civilization, denying ourselves the 
addition which this capacity would give to their powers of 
usefulness, and consequently of economy of maintenance ; 
denying them the advantages for improvement which we 
now in every State give to our hopelessly insane, to our 
blind and mute, to our fools, to our worst and most danger- 
ous criminals. 

Why do we not pass laws forbidding criminals and maniacs 
to read ? Our fathers did not allow them to read when 
negroes were introduced in Virginia. But every man among 
us whom we call well informed, now knows that it is a 
profitable business for the State, which has so little profitable 
business, even to provide teachers and books for a portion 
of her criminals, to allow books and encourage reading with 
all. To provide books, to provide physicians, to provide 
teachers, to provide halls and gardens of recreations, as stimu- 
lants to healthful thought for our madmen and our fools ; to 
this the State is impelled equally by considerations of safety 
and of economy. Even Kentucky has its State institution 
for the development of manhood in fools born of white 
women. 

Does not every such man know, too, that, given an improv- 
able mind with a sound body, possessed of the natural instincts, 



344 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

the usual desires, appetites, aversions, no matter if at starting 
the being is even what we call an idiot, a drivelling imbecile, 
disgusting all who see him, a sheer burden upon society, the 
process of making him clean in his habits, capable of labour- 
ing with a good and intelligent purpose, and of associating 
inoffensively with others, is just as certain in its principles and 
in its progress — infinite progress — as the navigation of a ship 
or the building of a house ? 

This is even so with a cretin, whose body is deformed beyond 
remedy, whose brain is contracted, whose face is contorted, 
whose limbs are half paralyzed, whose every organ is defective, 
and who has inherited these conditions from goitrous parents 
and grandparents. 

Dr. Seguin says : " The idiot wishes for nothing ; he 
wishes only to remain in his vacuity." 

Even so thinks Dr. Cartwright of the negro ; and surely 
nothinsr worse can be thought of him. 

But Dr. Seguin adds : "To treat successfully this ill-will 
[indisposition to take care of himself], the physician wills that 
the idiot should act and think himself, of himself, and, 
finally, by himself. The incessant volition of the moral 
physican urges incessantly the idiot into the sphere of activity 
of thinking, of labour, of duty, and affectionate feelings." 

Is there no such law of progression of capacity for the black 
imbeciles ? All the laws of the South have the contrary aims : 
to withdraw them as much as possible from the sjDhere of self- 
willed activity, thought, labour — to prevent the negro from 
thinking by himself, of himself, for himself ; and the principle 
on which these laws are based is thus defined by Mr. De 
Bow : — 

" The Almighty has thought well to place certain of His creatures in 
certain fixed positions in this world of oura, for what cause He has not 
seen fit to make quite clear to our limited capacities ; and why an ass is 



THE DANGER OE THE SOUTH. 345 

not a man, anil a man is not an ass, will probably for ever remain a mys- 
tery." " God made the world ; God gave thee thy place, my hirsute 
brother, and, according to all earthly possibilities and probahilities, it is 
thy destiny there to remain, bray as thou wilt. From the same great 
power have our sable friends, Messrs. Sambo, Cuffee, & Co., received their 
position also. . . . Alas, my poor black brother ! thou, like thy hirsute 
friend, must do thy braying in vain."* 

Are there laws on our statute-books to prevent asses from 
being taught to read ? 

The Richmond Examiner says — 

" These immigrants do not, like our ancestors, fly from religious and 
political persecution ; they come merely as animals in search of a richer 
and fresher pasture. They come to gratify physical want — for moral, 
intellectual, or religious wants they have not acquired. They will settle 
in large masses, and, for ages to come, will practise and inculcate a 
pure (or rather impure) materialism. Mormonism is a fit exponent, proof, 
and illustration of our theory. The mass of them are sensual, grovelling, 
low-minded agrarians, and nine-tenths of them would join the Mormons, 
or some such brutal, levelling sect, if an opportunity offered to do so. 

"European writers describe a large class of population throughout 
England and the Continent as being distinguished by restless, wandering, 
nomadic habits, and by a peculiar conformation of the skull and face. 
Animal 'and sensual nature largely predominates, with tliem, over the 
moral and intellectual. It is they who commit crimes, fill prisons, and 
adorn the gailows. They will not submit to the restraints of law or 
religion, nor can they be educated. From their restless and lawless 
habits, we should infer they composed a large part of the northern immi- 
gration." 

If all this were true, and were felt by us to be true, should 
we think it necessary to put the minds of these beings in fet- 
ters ? Should we hold it to be dangerous if one should under- 
take to strengthen their intellects, to give them larger ideas ? 

If all the slaves in the United States were " real Congo 
niggers," which not one in a thousand is, and if all real 
Congo niggers were as incapable, and as beastly, and as 
savage in their propensities as the very worst of them are as- 
serted to be, would the method of dealing with them which 

* " Resources," vol. ii., pp. 197, 198. 



346 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

the legislation of the Slave States, and which a large part of 
the labour of the Congress and Executive of our nation is 
directed to the purpose of perpetuating, be felt to be strictly 
in accordance with sound and well-established economico- 
political principles ? The purpose of that legislation is avowed 
to be merely to secure safety with economy. Would a project 
for establishing an institution planned upon the principles of 
the ancient Bedlam and the ancient Bridewell be felt to-day 
to be completely justified among us, by the statement that 
highwaymen and maniacs will endanger life and the security 
of our property if they are not somehow taken care of ? 

If there had been no Mettray with its Demetz, no Norfolk 
Island with its Machonochie, no Hanwell with its Connolly, 
no Abendberg with its Guggenbuhl ; if the courage, devotion, 
and labour of Pinel, Sicard, and Seguin had been in vain ; if 
there had been no progress in the science of civilized society 
since the days of Howard, we might listen with merely silent 
sadness to such, an excuse for debilitating the weak, for hold- 
ing down the fallen ; for permitting brutal keepers to exas- 
perate the mad, and mercenary nurses to stupefy the idiotic ; we 
might, if we saw it to be necessary to preserve a civilized com- 
munity from destruction, even give its object our aid ; but with 
the knowledge which in our time is everywhere else acted upon, 
it is impossible for us not to feel that such an argument is a 
specious and a fallacious one, and that no State can long act 
upon it with safety, much less with economy. 

And surely the system by which intellectual demands and 
ambition are repressed in the negro is as little calculated to 
produce the security which is its object, as it is to turn his 
physical abilities to the most profitable use for his owner. 
How far it fails in this respect, the extra-legal measures of 
safety and the semi-instinctive habits of unconscious precaution 
which pervade Southern society evince. I say unconscious 



THE DANGER OF THE SOUTH. 347 

precaution, because Southerners themselves seem to have gene- 
rally a very inadequate idea of the influence of slavery upon 
their habits in this way, and this is very natural. 

" Every habit breeds unconsciousness of its existence in the 
mind of the man whom it controls, and this is more true of 
habits which involve our safety than of any others. The 
weary sailor aloft, on the look-out, may fall asleep ; but, in 
the lurch of the ship, his hands will clench the swaying cord- 
age only the more firmly, that they act in the method of 
instinct. A hard-hunted fugitive may nod in his saddle, but 
his knees will not unloose their hold upon his horse. Men 
who live in powder-mills are said to lose all conscious feeling 
of habitual insecurity ; but visitors perceive that they have 
acquired a constant softness of manner and of voice. 

" If a labourer on a plantation should insolently contradict 
his master, it may often appear to be no more than a reason- 
able precaution for his master to kill him on the spot ; for, 
when a slave has acquired such boldness, it may be evident 
that not merely is his value as property seriously diminished, 
but that the attempt to make further use of him at all, as 
property, involves in danger the whole white community. ' If 
I let this man live, and permit him the necessary degree of 
freedom to be further useful to me, he will infect with his 
audacity all my negro property, which will be correspond- 
ingly more difficult to control, and correspondingly reduced 
in value. If he treats me with so little respect now, what 
have I to anticipate when he has found other equally inde- 
pendent spirits among the slaves ? They will not alone make 
themselves free, but will avenge upon me, and my wife, and 
my daughters, and upon all our community, the injustice which 
they will think has been done them, and their women, and 
children.' Thus would he reason, and shudder to think what 
might follow if he yielded to an impulse of mercy. 



348 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

" To suppose, however, that the master will pause while he 
thus weighs the danger exactly, and then deliberately act as, 
upon reflection, he considers the necessities of the case de- 
mand, is absurd. The mere circumstance of his doing so 
vould nourish a hopeful spirit in the slave, and stimulate 
him to consider how he could best avoid all punishment. 
Hence the instinct-like habit of precaution with individuals, 
and hence the frenzy which often seizes whole communities. • 

"But 'planters sleep unguarded, and with their bedroom 
doors open.' So, as it was boasted, did the Emperor at 
Biarritz, and with greater bravery, because the assassin of 
Napoleon would be more sine, in despatching him, that there 
would be no one left with a vital interest to secure punish- 
ment for such a deed : and because, if he failed, Napoleon 
dare never employ such exemplary punishment for his 
enemies as would the planters for theirs. The emperors of 
the South are the whole free society of the South, and it is a 
society of mutual assurance. Against a slave who has the 
disposition to become an assassin, his emperor has a body- 
guard, which, for general effectiveness, is to the Cent Garde 
as your right hand is to your right hand's glove. 

"It is but a few months since, in Georgia or Alabama, a 
man treated another precisely as Mr. Brooks treated Mr. 
Sumner — coming up behind him, with the fury of a madman, 
and felling him with a bludgeon ; killing him by the first 
blow, however, and then discharging vengeance by repeated 
strokes upon his senseless body.* The man thus pitifully 

* The late Mr. Brooks' character should be honestly considered, now that 
personal enmity toward him is impossible. That he was courteous, accomplished, 
warm-hearted, and hot-blooded, dear as a friend and fearful as an enemy, may be 
believed by all ; but, in the South, his name is yet never mentioned without the term 
gallant or courageous, spirited or noble, is also attached to it ; and we are obliged 
to ask, why insist on this? The truth is, we include a habit of mind in these 
terms which slavery has rendered, in a great degree, obsolete in the South. Th.» 



THE DANGER OF THE SOUTH. 349 

abused had been the master of the other, a remarkably con- 
fiding and merciful master, it was said — too much so. 'It 
never does to be too slack with niggers.' By such indiscre- 
tion he brought his death upon him. But did his assassin 
escape ? He was roasted, at a slow fire, on the spot of the 
murder, in the presence of many thousand slaves, driven to 
the ground from all the adjoining counties, and when, at 
length, his hfe went out, the fire was intensified until his 
body was in ashes, which were scattered to the winds and 
trampled under foot. Then ' magistrates and clergymen ' 
addressed appropriate warnings to the assembled subjects. 
It was not thought indiscreet to leave doors open again that 
night. 

" Will any traveller say that he has seen no signs of dis- 
content, or insecurity, or apprehension, or precaution ; that 
the South has appeared quieter and less excited, even on the 
subject of slavery, than the North ; that the negroes seem 
happy and contented, and the citizens more tranquilly en- 
gaged in the pursuit of their business and pleasure ? Has 
that traveller been in Naples ? Precisely the same remarks 
apply to the appearance of things there at this moment [the 
moment of this writing — it was in 1857]. 



man who has been accustomed from childhood to see men beaten when they have 
no chance to defend themselves ; to hear men accused, reproved, vituperated, who 
dare not open their lips in self-defence or reply ; the man who is accustomed to 
see other men whip women without interference, remonstrance, or any expression 
of indignation, must have a certain quality, which is an essential part of personal 
honour with us, greatly blunted, if not entirely destroyed. The same quality 
which we detest in the assassination of an enemy, is essentially constant in all 
slavery. It is found in effecting one's will with another, when he cannot, if he 
would, defend himself. Accustomed to this in every hour of their lives. 
Southerners do not feel magnanimity and the " fair-play " impulse to be a 
necessary part of the quality of "spirit," courage, and nobleness. By spirit they 
apparently mean only passionate vindictiveness of character, and by gallantry 
mere intrepidity. 



350 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

" The massacre of Hayti opened in a ball-room. Mr. Cobden 
judged there was not the smallest reason in the French king's 
surrounding himself with soldiers the day before the hidden 
force of insubordination broke forth and cast him forth from 
his kingdom. It is true, however, that the tranquillity of the 
South is the tranquillity of Hungary and of Poland, rather 
than of France or the Two Sicilies ; the tranquillity of hope- 
lessness on the part of the subject race. But, in the most 
favoured regions, this broken spirit of despair is as carefully 
preserved by the citizens, and with as confident and un- 
hesitating an application of force, when necessary to teach 
humility, as it is by the army of the Czar, or the omnipresent 
police of the Kaiser. In Richmond, and Charleston, and New 
Orleans, the citizens are as careless and gay as in Boston or 
London, and their servants a thousand times as childlike and 
cordial, to all appearance, in their relations with them as our 
servants are with us. But go to the bottom of this security 
and dependence, and you come to police machinery such as 
you never find in towns under free government : citadels, 
sentries, passports, grape-shotted cannon, and daily public 
whippings for accidental infractions of police ceremonies. I 
happened myself to see more direct expression of tyranny in a 
single day and night at Charleston, than at Naples [under 
Bomba] in a week ; and I found that more than half the in- 
habitants of this town were subject to arrest, imprisonment, 
and barbarous punishment, if found in the streets without a 
passport after the evening ' gun-fire.' Similar precautions 
and similar customs may be discovered in every large town in 
the South. 

" Nor is it so much better, as is generally imagined, in the 
rural districts. Ordinarily there is no show of government 
any more than at the North : the slaves go about with as 
much apparent freedom as convicts in a dockyard. There is, 



THE DANGER OF THE SOUTH. 351 

however, nearly everywhere, always prepared to act, if not 
always in service, an armed force, with a military organiza- 
tion, which is invested with more arbitrary and cruel power 
than any police in Europe. Yet the security of the whites is 
in a much less degree contingent on the action of the ' patrols ' 
than upon the constant, habitual, and instinctive surveillance 
and authority of all white people over all black. 1 have seen 
a gentleman, with no commission or special authority, oblige 
negroes to show their passports, simply because he did not 
recognize them as belonging to any of his neighbours. I 
have seen a girl, twelve years old, in a district where, in ten 
miles, the slave population was fifty to one of the free, stop 
an old man on the public road, demand to know where he 
was going, and by what authority, order him to face about 
and return to his plantation, and enforce her command with 
turbulent anger, when he hesitated, by threatening that she 
would have him well whipped if he did not instantly obey. 
The man quailed like a spaniel, and she instantly resumed the 
manner of a lovely child with me, no more apprehending that 
she had acted unbecomingly, than that her character had been 
influenced by the slave's submission to her cajDrice of supre- 
macy ; no more conscious that she had increased the security 
of her life by strengthening the habit of the slave to the 
master race, than is the sleeping seaman that he tightens his 
clutch of the rigging as the ship meets each new billow. 

" There is no part of the South in which the people are 
more free from the direct action of slavery upon the charac- 
ter, or where they have less to apprehend from rebellion, than 
Eastern Tennessee. Yet, after the burning of a negro near 
Knoxville, a few years ago, the deed was justified, as neces- 
sary for the maintenance of order among the slaves, by the 
editor of a newspaper (the Register), in the following terms : 
— ' It was,' he observed, ' a means of absolute, necessary 



352 COTTON AND SLAVEBY. 

self-defenee, which could not be secured by an ordinary resort 
to the laws. Two executions on the gallows have occurred 
in this county within a year or two past, and the example 
has been unavailing. Four executions by hanging have taken 
place, heretofore, in Jefferson, of slaves guilty of similar 
offences, and it has produced no radical terror or example for 
the others designing the same crimes, and hence any example 
less horrible and terrifying would have availed nothing here.' 

" The other local paper (the Whig), upon the same occasion, 
used the following language : — 

" ' We have to say in defence of the act, that it was not per- 
petrated by an excited multitude, but by one thousand citizens 
— good citizens at that — who were cool, calm, and deliberate.' 

" And the editor, who is a Methodist preacher, presently 
adds, after explaining the enormity of the offence with which 
the victim was charged — " We unhesitatingly affirm that the 
punishment was unequal to the crime. Had we been there 
we should have taken a part, and even suggested the pinch- 
ing of pieces out of him with red-hot pincers — the cutting off 
of a limb at a time, and then burning them all in a heap. 
The possibility of his escaping from jail forbids the idea of 
awaiting the tardy movements of the law.' [Although one 
thousand trusty citizens volunteered to guard him at the 
stake.] 

" How much more horrible than the deed are these apolo- 
gies for it. They make it manifest that it was not accidental 
in its character, but a phenomenon of general and funda- 
mental significance. They explain the paralytic effect upon 
the popular conscience of the great calamity of the South. 
They indicate a necessary tendency of people living under 
such circumstances to return in their habits of thought to the 
dark ages of mankind. For who, from the outside, can fail to 
see that the real reason why men in the middle of the nine- 



THE DANGER OF THE SOUTH. 353 

teenth century, and in the centre of the United States, are 
publicly burned at the stake, is one much less heathenish, 
less disgraceful to the citizens than that given by the 
more zealous and extemporaneous of their journalistic ex- 
ponents — the desire to torture the sinner proportionately to 
the measure of his sin. Doubtless, this reverend gentleman 
expresses the utmost feeling of the ruling mind of his com- 
munity. But would a similar provocation have developed a 
similar avenging spirit in any other nominally Christian or 
civilized people ? Certainly not. All over Europe, and in 
every Free State — California, for significant reasons, tempo- 
rarily excepted — in similar cases, justice deliberately takes its 
course ; the accused is systematically assisted in defending or 
excusing himself. If the law demands his life, the infliction 
of unnecessary suffering, and the education of the people in 
violence and feelings of revenge, is studiously avoided. Go 
back to the foundation of the custom which thus neutralizes 
Christianity among the people of the South, which carries 
them backward blindly against the tide of civilization, and 
what do we find it to be ? The editor who still retains 
moral health enough to be suspected — as men more enlight- 
ened than their neighbours usually are — of heterodoxy, 
answers. To follow the usual customs of civilization else- 
where would not be felt safe. To indulge in feelings cf 
humanity would not be felt safe. To be faithful to the pre- 
cepts of Christ would not be felt safe. To act in a spirit of 
cruel, inconsiderate, illegal, violent, and pitiless vengeance, 
must be permitted, must be countenanced, must be defended by 
the most conservative, as a ' means of absolute, necessary self- 
defence.' To educate the people practically otherwise would 
be felt to be suicidal. Hence no free press, no free pulpit, 
no free politics can be permitted in the South. Hence every 
white stripling in the South may carry a dirk-knife in 
von. II. 2 A 



354 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

his pocket, and play with a revolver before he has learned 
to swim."* 

I happened to pass through Tennessee shortly after this 
tragedy, and conversed with a man who was engaged in it — 
a mild, common-sense native of the country. He told me that 
there was no evidence against the negro but his own confes- 
sion. I suggested that he might have been crazy. " What 
if he was ?" he asked with a sudden asperity. What if he 
was, to he sure ? The slaves who were brought together to 
witness his torture were not insane. They were at least 
capable of instruction. That day they were given a lesson ; 
were taught to know their masters better; were taught 
that when ordinary and legal discipline failed, resort would 
be had to more potent means of governing them. A better 
informed man, having regard to the ignorance of a stranger, 
might have answered me : "It was of no consequence, prac- 
tically, whether he were sane or mad. We do not wish our 
slaves to study the right and the wrong of every exciting 
occurrence. To say that being mad the negro was not 
responsible, therefore not guilty of a crime, therefore not to 
be punished, would be proclaiming to them that only that 
which is wrong is to be dreaded. Whatever offends us, what- 
ever is against our will and pleasure, is what a slave must be 
made to dread." 

Constantly, and everywhere throughout the South, are there 
occurrences of this significance ; I do not say as horrible, 
though I can answer for it, that no year in the last ten has 
passed without something as bad ;t but constantly and 
everywhere of the same nature, of the same impulse, the 

* From the Introduction to " The Englishman in Kausas,'' (by the author of 
this work). 

•f Thr.t slaves have ever been burned alive has been indignantly denied. 'l.e 
late Judge Jay told me that he had evidence in his possession of negro burnings 
every year in the last twenty. 



THE DANGER OF THE SOUTH. 355 

same reasoning, the same purposes, the same disregard of 
principles of society, which no people can ever set aside and 
not have reason to feel their situation insecure. It is false, 
it is the most dangerous mistake possible to assume that this 
feeling of insecurity, this annihilation of the only possible 
basis of security in human society, is, in the slightest degree, 
the result of modern agitation. It is the fundamental law of 
slavery, as distinctly appears in the decision of Justice Eiiffin, 
of North Carolina, in the case of the State v. Mann.* The 
American system of slavery from its earliest years (as shown 
p. 496, "Seaboard Slave States"), and without cessation to 
the present time, has had this accompaniment. Less in the 
last twenty years, if anything, than before. Would it not be 
more just to say that this element of the present system was 
the cause of agitation ? Must not the determined policy of 
the South to deal with slavery on the assumption that it is, 
in its present form, necessary, just, good, and to be extended, 
strengthened, and perpetuated indefinitely, involve constant 
agitation as a necessary incident of the means used to carry it 
out ? I do not say with you or with me, reader, but with a 
goodly number of any civilized community ? Do you not, who 
wish to think otherwise, consider that it will always require 
what you must deem a superior mind not to be overcome by 
incidents necessary to the carrying out of this determination ? 
And will not such agitation give renewed sense of danger, 
and occasion renewed demands for assurance from us ? 

I have remarked before that in no single instance did I 
find an inquiry of the owner or the overseer of a large planta- 
tion about the poor whites of its vicinity fail to elicit an 
expression indicating habitual irritation with them. This 
equally with the j)olished and tranquil gentleman of South 
Carolina and the rude pioneer settler of Texas, himself born a 

* 2 Devereaux's North Carolina Reports, 263. 

2 a 2 



356 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

dirt-eating sand-hiller. It was evident in most cases, and in 
one it was distinctly explained to me by a Louisianian planter, 
that the reason of this was not merely the bad effect upon 
the discipline of the plantation, which was had by the inter- 
course between these people and the slaves, but that it was 
felt that the contrast between the habits of the former — most 
of the time idle, and when working, working only for their 
own benefit and without a master — constantly offered sugges- 
tions and temptations to the slaves to neglect their duty, to 
run away and live a vagabond life, as these poor whites were 
seen to. Hence, one of the acknowledged advantages of very 
large and isolated plantations, and hence, in part, the desire 
of every planter to get possession of the land of any poor 
non-slaveholding neighbour. 

As few Southern writers seem to have noticed this, I 
suppose that few Southerners are aware how universal with 
planters is this feeling. My attention being early directed to 
the causes of the condition of the poor whites, I never failed 
to make inquiries of planters, and of intelligent men espe- 
cially, about those in their neighbourhood ; and being soon 
struck by the constant recurrence of similar expressions with 
regard to them, I was the more careful to introduce the 
subject at every proper opportunity, and, I repeat, always 
with the same result. I am afraid that the feeling of the 
South to the North is (more or less defined in individual 
minds) of the same nature, and that the contiguity of a 
people whose labourers take care of themselves, and labour 
industriously without being owned, can never be felt to be 
safe by slaveholders. That it must always be looked upon 
with apprehension, with a sense of danger, more or less vague, 
more or less well defined, but always sufficient to lead to 
efforts intended to counteract its natural influence — its in- 
fluence not so much with slaves, certainly not alone with the 



THE DANGER OF THE SOUTH. 357 

slaves, but also with that important element of population 
which reaps no profit from the good behaviour of the slaves. 

In De Bow's " Review " for January, 1850, will be found the 
following passage in an article discussing the practicability of 
employing the non-slaveholding whites in factories, the argu- 
ment being that there will be less danger of their becoming 
" Abolitionists " under such circumstances than at present 
exists : — 

" The great mass of our poor white population begin to understand 
that they have rights, and that they, too, are entitled to some of the 
sympathy which falls upon the suffering. They are fast learning that 
there is an almost infinite world of industry opening before them by 
which they can elevate themselves and their families from wretchedness 
and ignorance to competence and intelligence. It is this great up- 
heaving of our masses that we have to fear, so far as our institutions are 
concerned." 

It is, in the nature of things, while slaveholders refuse the 
slightest concession to the spirit of the age — while, in their 
legislation, they refuse to recognize, in the slightest degree, 
the principles of social science under which we live, and must 
live, and which every civilized people has fully adopted, that 
they should endeavour to make it appear the fault of others 
that they do not feel assured of safety and at ease with them- 
selves ; that they should try to make their own ignorant 
people believe that it is from without all danger is to be 
apprehended — all assurance of safety to be clamoured for — 
that they should endeavour to make themselves believe it.* 

* The real object of the systematic mail robbery which is maintained through- 
out the South, and of the censorship of the press which is otherwise attempted, 
was once betrayed by a somewhat distinguished Southern editor, Duff Green, in 
the United States Telegraph, in the following words : — 

" The real danger of this [slave insurrection] is remote. We believe we have 
most to fear from the organized action upon the consciences and fears of the slave- 
holders themselves ; from the insinuation of their dangerous heresies into our 
schools, our pulpits, and our domestic circles. It is only by alarming the con- 
sciences of the weak and feeble, and diffusing among our people a morbid sensibility 
on the question of slavery, that the Abolitionists can accomplish their object." 



358 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

Those who seriously propose to stop all agitation on the 
suhject of slavery, by causing the Abolitionists to refrain from 
proceedings which cause apprehension at the South, by 
silencing all who entertain sentiments the utterance of which 
is deemed a source of " danger to Southern institutions," by 
refraining themselves from all proceedings which will be 
looked upon with alarm by their fellow-citizens of the Slave 
States, can know very little of what would be required before 
the South were satisfied. The destruction of some million 
dollars' cost in school and text books would be one of the first 
things, and yet but a small item in the undertaking. Books 
which directly comment upon slavery are considered compara- 
tively safe, because their purpose being defined, they can be 
guarded against. As is well understood, it is the insidious 
attacks of a free press that are most feared. But is it well 
understood what are felt to be " insidious attacks ?" Some idea 
may be formed from the following passages which I take, not 
from the heated columns of a daily newspaper, but from the 
cool pages of the deliberate De Bow's " Keview." The appre- 
hension they express is not of to-day ; in the first article 
from which I quote (which was published in the middle of Mr. 
Pierce's presidential term), reference is made to warnings of 
the same character which have been sounded from time to time 
before ; and this very number of the " Review " contains a testi- 
monial from fifty-five Southern senators and representatives 
in Congress to the " ability and accuracy " of its " exposition 
of the working of the system of polity of the Southern States." 

" Our text books are abolition books. Tbey are so to tbe extent of their 
capacity." ..." We have been too careless and indifferent to the 
import of these things." 

" And so long as we use such works as ' Wayland's Moral Science,' and 
the abolition geographies, readers, and histories, overrunning, as they do, 
with all sorts of slanders, caricatures, and blood thirsty sentiments, let us 
never complain of their [northern Church people's] use of that transitory 
romance [ Uncle Tom's Cabin']. They seek to array our children by false 



THE DANGER. OF THE SOUTH. 3 5 'J 

ideas, against the established ordinance of God ; and it sometimes takes 
effect. A professor in one of our Southern seminaries, not long since 
placed in the hands of a pupil ' Wayland's Moral Science,' and informed 
her that the chapter on slavery was heretical and unscriptural, and that 
she would not be examined on that chapter, and need not study it, 
Perhaps she didn't. But on the day of examination she wished her 
teacher to tell her 'if that chapter was heretical how she was to know 
but they were all so ?' We might enumerate many other books of similar 
character and tendencies. But we will refer to only one more— it is 
' Gilbert's Atlas' — though the real author's name does not appear on the 
title page. On the title page it is called 'Appleton's Complete Guide of 
the World ;' published by D. Appleton & Co , New York. This is an 
elegant and comprehensive volume, endorsed by the Appletons and sent 
South, containing hidden lessons of the most fiendish and murderous 
character that enraged fanaticism could conceive or indite.* It is a sort 
of literary and scientific infernal machine. And whatever the design may 
have been, the tendency is as shocking as the imagination can picture. 
This is the artillery and these the implements England and our 
own recreant sister States are employing to overturn the order of society 
and the established forms of labour that date back beyond the penning of 
the decalogue. . . This book, and many other Northern school-books 

scattered over the country, come within the range of the statutes of this 
State, which provide for the imprisonment for life or the infliction of the 
penalty of death upon any person who shall 'publish or distribute ' such 
works; and were I a citizen of New Orleans, this work should not escape 
the attention of the grand jury. But need I add more to convince the 
sceptical of the necessity there is for the production of our own text-books, 
and, may I not add, our own literature ? Why should the land of domestic 
servitude be less productive in the great works of the mind now than when 
Homer evoked the arts, poetry, and eloquence into existence ? Moses 
wrote the Genesis of Creation, the Exodus of Israel, and the laws of man- 
kind? and when Cicero, Virgil, Horace, St John, and St. Paul became the 
instructors of the world ?t . . . They will want no cut-throat 
literature, no fire-brand moral science . . . nor Appleton's • Complete 
Atlas,' to encourage crimes that would blanch the cheek of a pirate, nor 
any of the ulcerous and polluting agencies issuing from the hot-beds of 
abolition fanaticism." 



* Elsewhere the Messrs. Appleton are spoken of as " the great Abolition pub- 
lishers of New York." 

•f- Note the argument, I pray you, reader. Why, indeed ? Why is there not a 
Feejee Iliad ? Are not the Keejees heathen, as Homer was ? Why should not the 
Book of Mormon be as good a thing as the Psalms of David ? Was not Joseph 
Smith also a polygamist? 



360 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

From an article on educational reform at the SoihIi, in 
the same " Review," 1856, I take the following indications of 
what, among other Northern doings, are considered to imperil 
the South : — 

" ' Lovell's United States Speaker,' the 'National Reader,' the 'Young 
Ladies' Reader,' 'Columbian Orator,' 'Scott's Lessons,' the 'Village 
Reader,' and numerous others, have been used for years, and are all, in 
some respects, valuable compilations. We apprehend, however, there are 
few parents or teachers who are familiar with the whole of their contents, 
or they would demand expurgated editions for the use of their children. 
The sickly sentimentality of the poet Cowper, whose ear became so ' pained,' 
and his soul ' sick with every day's report of wrong and outrage,' that it 
made him cry out in agony for ' a lodge in some vast wilderness,' where 
he might commune with howling wolves and panthers on the blessings of 
liberty (?), stumps its infectious poison upon many of the pages of these 
works." . . . 

"From the American First Class Book, page 185, we quote another 
more modern sentiment, which bears no less higher authority than the 
name of the great Massachusetts statesman, Mr. Webster :'-' 

Having burnt or expurgated Webster and Cowper, is it 
to be imagined that the leaders of opinion in the South 
would yet be willing to permit familiar intercourse between 
themselves and a people who allowed a book containing -such 
lines as these to circulate freely ? — 

" What is a man 
If his chief good and market of his time 
Be but to sleep and feed ? A beast, no more. 
Sure, He that made us with such large discourse, 
Looking before and after, gave us not 
That capability and Godlike reason, 
To rust unused." 

What a dangerous sentiment to come by any chance to a 
slave ! Is it not ? Are you, then, prepared to burn your 
Shakespeare ? I will not ask if you will have another book 
" expurgated," of all passages the tendency of which is to 
set the bondmen free. 



THE DANGER OF THE SOUTH. 361 

If the security of life and property at the South must for 
ever be dependent on the thoroughness with which the negro 
population is prevented from acquiring knowledge; from 
thinking of themselves and for themselves, it will never be felt 
to be greater than it is to-day. Efforts made to increase 
this security will of themselves occasion agitation,, and 
agitation must counteract those efforts. Knowledge, know- 
ledge of what is going on elsewhere, of the condition of men 
elsewhere, of what is thought elsewhere, must have increased 
currency with every class of mankind in all parts of this 
continent, as it increases in population, and the movements 
of its population increase in activity and importance. No 
human laws, embargoes, or armies and navies can prevent it. 
Do our utmost, we cannot go back of the steam-engine, the 
telegraph, the cotton-gin, and the cylinder press. The 
South has admitted steamboats and railroads. It was not 
practicable to stop with these, and bar out all the rest that 
is peculiar to the nineteenth century. Is it practicable to 
admit the machinery of modern civilized life, and not stir 
up its free people ? Is it practicable to stir up its inter- 
mediate class, and keep its lowest torpid ? Assuredly the 
security which depends upon preventing either of these steps 
can never be permanently increased ; spite of all possible 
further extension of slave territory, and dispersion and dis- 
connection of plantations, it must gradually lessen. As it 
lessens, the demand upon the nation to supply new grounds 
of security must increase — increase continually, until a^ 
length, this year, next year, or another, they conclusively 
and hopelessly fail. It may cost us much or it may cost us 
little to reach that point, but it is inevitably to be reached. 
It may be after long and costly civil war, or longer and more 
costly foreign wars, or it may be peaceably, sensibly, and 
soon, but it must come. The annexation of Cuba, interna- 



o62 COTTON AND SLAVERY. 

tional fugitive slave laws,* the African slave trade, judgments 
of the Supreme Court, and whatever else may be first asked 
and given, will not prevent it — nothing the North will do, 
nothing the North can do, will prevent it. The proximity of 
a people who cannot hold labour in contempt ; who cannot 
keep labourers in ignorance and permanent dependence each 
upon another man ; who cannot have an effective censorship 
of the press, or a trustworthy army of mouchards, prevents, 
and must always prevent, the South from standing with 
the slightest confidence of safety on that policy which it 
proclaims to be its only ground of safety. Nothing but a 
reversal of the current of our Northern history for half a 
century, nothing, in fact, but the enslavement of labour at 
the North, could in the nature of things, give that security, 
even temporarily, to the capitalists of labour at the South 
which they nced.f Some demand of the South upon the na- 

* From the Columbia (S. C.) Times, quoted without dissent in the conservative 
South Carolina paper, the Charleston Mercury : — 

"The loss that the South annually sustains by the running of slaves into 
Canada, is of sufficient importance to justify her public men in insisting upon 
some action of the Government of the United States in the premises. And we 
confess our surprise that Southern statesmen have submitted with so much 
patience to the annual robbery of thousands of dollars' wotth of property to which 
she has as good a right as the land they cultivate. The time is propitious for the 
acquisition of all disputed rights from European powers. They cannnot afford 
to break just now with the United States. Let our public men move in the 
matter, and we question not but that the President and the American Minister at 
St. James's will give the movement a cordial support. Besides, this is a golden 
moment which may never return. Before we get another sound man in the presi- 
dential chair, peace may be made in Europe, and the European powers be less 
inclined to look with favour upon the demands of America." 

f " While it is far more obvious that negroes should be slaves than whites, for 
they are only tit to labour, not to direct ; yet the principle of slavery is itself 
right, and does not depend upon difference of complexion. Difference of race, 
lineage, of language, of habits-, and customs, all tend to render the institution more 
natural and durable; and although slaves have been generally whites, still 
the masters and slaves have generally been of different national descent. Moses 
and Aristotle, the earliest historians, are both authorities in favour of this differ- 
ence of race, but not of colour." — Richmond Enquirer. 



THE DANGER OF THE SOUTH. 363 

tion, acquiescence in which it holds essential to its safety, 
must then at length be distinctly refused. And when, ten 
or twenty years hence, if so be, this shall come to pass, what 
then is to happen to us ? 

Dissolution ? 

This is what many Southern politicians avow, whenever 
they contemplate such a contingency. 

Why? 

Because it is known that the people of the North are un- 
willing that the Union should be dissolved, whereas they have 
no indisposition to the only course which it will then be possible 
for the South to adopt, for the sake of increasing the security 
of its citizens, against insurrectionary movements of its slaves. 
This plainly would be to arrange a systematic opportunity 
and method for the slaves to labour, whenever they chose, 
and as much as they might choose, in an orderly, peaceable, 
and wise way, for their own release and improvement, each 
man for himself and those most dear to him ; each man by 
himself, independently, openly, with no occasion for com- 
bination, secrecy, plots, or conspiracy. To prepare, for those 
disposed to avail themselves of it, a field, either here or 
elsewhere, in which their capability and Godlike reason, 
such as it may be, little or great, need not be forced by law to 
rust unused, or brighten only to the material advantage of 
a master. This I must think to be consciously, even now, 
the only final course of safety before every reflective Southern 
mind. This, or dissolution, and the chances of war. 

[The above was written before Mr. Lincoln was spoken of 
as a candidate for the Presidency.] 



364 



APPENDIX. 



(A.) 

THE CONDITION OF VIRGINIA. STATISTICS. 

1. 

The Richmond Enquirer, a strong and influential pro-slavery 
newspaper of Virginia, in advocating some railroad projects, 
thus describes the progress of the State relatively to that of 
some of the Free States, since the Revolution. (Dec. 29, 1852.) 

" Virginia, anterior to the Bevolution, and up to the adoption of the 
Federal Constitution, contained more wealth and a larger population 
than any other State of this Confederacy. * * * 

" Virginia, from being first in point of wealth and political power, 
has come down to the fifth in the former, and the fourth in the latter. 
New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Ohio stand above her in 
wealth, and all, but Massachusetts, in population and political power. 
Three of these States are literally chequered over with railroads and 
canals ; and the fourth (Massachusetts) with railroads alone. * * * 

" But when we find that the population of the single city of New 
York and its environs exceeds the whole free population of Eastern 
Virginia, and the valley between the Blue Eidge and Alleghany, we 
have cause to feel deeply for our situation. Philadelphia herself contains 
a population far greater than the whole free population of Eastern Vir- 
ginia. The little State of Massachusetts has an aggregate wealth ex- 
ceeding that of Virginia by more than one hundred and twenty-six 
millions of dollars — a State, too, which is incapable of subsisting its 
inhabitants from the production of its soil. And New York, which was 
as much below Massachusetts, at the adoption of the Federal Constitu- 
tion, in wealth and power, as the latter was helow Virginia, now exceeds 
the wealth of both. While the aggregate wealth of New York, in 1850, 
amounted to $1,080,309,216, that of Virginia was $436,701,082— a 
difference in favour of the former of $643,608,134. The unwrought 
mineral wealth of Virginia exceeds that of New York. The climate and 



APPENDIX. 365 

soil are better; the back country, with equal improvements, would 
contribute as much." 

The same journal adds, on another occasion :— 

"In no State of the Confederacy do the facilities for manufacturing 
operations exist in greater profusion than in Virginia. Every condition 
essential to success in these employments is found here in prodigal 
abundance, and in a peculiarly convenient combination. First, we have 
a limitless supply of water power — the cheapest of motors — in localities 
easy of access. So abundant is this supply of water power that no value 
is attached to it distinct from the adjacent lands, except in the vicinity 
of the larger towns. On the Potomac and its tributaries ; on the Rap- 
pahannock ; on the flames and its tributaries ; on the lioanoke and its 
tributaries ; on the Holston, the Kanawha, and other streams, number- 
less sites may now be found where the supply of water power is suffi- 
cient for the purposes of a Lawrence or a Lowell. Nor is there any 
want of material for building at these localities ; timber and granite are 
abundant ; and, to complete the circle of advantages, the climate is 
genial and healthful, and the soil eminently productive. * * * An- 
other advantage which Virginia possesses, for the manufacture of cotton, 
is the proximity of its mills to the raw material. At the present prices 
of the staple, the value of this advantage is estimated at 10 per cent." 

The Lynchburg Virginian, another newspaper of respectability, 
having a similar purpose in hand, namely, to induce capitalists 
to invest their money in enterprises that shall benefit the State, 
observes that — 

" The coal fields of Virginia are the most extensive in the world, and 
her coal is of the best and purest quality. Her iron deposits are alto- 
gether inexhaustible, and in many instances so pure that it is malleable 
in its primitive state ; and many of these deposits in the immediate 
vicinity of extensive coal-fields. She has, too, very extensive deposits 
of copper, lead, and gypsum. Her rivers are numerous and bold, gene- 
rally with fall enough for extensive water power. 

" A remarkable feature in the mining and manufacturing prospects of 
Virginia is, the ease and economy with which all her minerals are 
mined ; instead of being, as in England and elsewhere, generally im- 
bedded deep within the bowels of the earth, from which they can be got 
only with great labour and at great cost, ours are found everywhere on 
the hills and slopes, with their ledges dipping in the direction of the 
plains below. Why, then, should not Virginia at once employ at least 
half of her labour and capital in mining and manufacturing ? Rich- 



366 APPENDIX. 

mond could as profitably manufacture all cotton and woollen goods as 
Lowell, or any other town in New England. Why should not Lynch- 
burg, with all her promised facility of getting coal and pig metal, manu- 
facture all articles of iron and steel just as cheaply, and yet as profitably, 
as any portion of the Northern States ? Why should not every town 
and village on the line of every railroad in the State, erect their shops, 
in which they may manufacture a thousand articles of daily consump- 
tion, just as good and cheap as they may be made anywhere? * * * 
" Dependent upon Europe and the North for almost every yard of 
cloth, and every coat, and boot, and hat we wear ; for our axes, scythes, 
tubs, and buckets — in short, for everything except our bread and meat ! 
— it must occur to the South that if our relations with the North should 
ever be severed — and how soon they may be, none can know (may God 
avert it long !) — we would, in all the South, not be able to clothe our- 
selves. We could not fell our forests, plough our fields, nor mow our 
meadows. In fact, we would be reduced to a state more abject than we 
are willing to look at even prospectively. And yet, with all these 
things staring us in the face, we shut our eyes, and go on blindfold." 

At the Convention for the formation of the Virginia State 
Agricultural Society, in 1852, the draft of an address to the 
farmers of the State was read, approved, and once adopted by 
the Convention. The vote by which it was adopted was soon 
afterwards reconsidered, and it was again approved and adopted. 
A second time it was reconsidered ; and finally it was rejected, 
on the ground that there were admissions in it that would feed 
the fanaticism of the Abolitionists. No one argued against it on 
the ground of the falsity or inaccuracy of these admissions. 
Twenty of the most respectable proprietors in the State, imme- 
diately afterwards, believing it to contain " matter of grave im- 
port," which should not be suppressed for such a reason, united 
in requesting a copy of it for publication. In the note of these 
gentlemen to the author, they express the belief that Virginia 
now "possesses the richest soil, most genial climate, and 
cheapest labour on earth." The author of the address, in his 
reply, says : " Fanaticism is a fool for whose vagaries I am not 
responsible. I am a pro-slavery man — I believe it, at this time, 
impossible to abolish it, and not desirable if it were possible." 

The address was accordingly published, and I make the fol- 
io ving extracts from it : — 



APPENDIX. 367 

" ADDRESS TO THE FARMERS OF VIRGIKIA. 

" • The Southern States stand foremost in agricultural labour, though 
they hold but the third rank in population.' At the head of these 
Southern States, in production, in extent of territory, in climate, in soil, 
and in population, stands the Commonwealth of Virginia. She is a 
nation of farmers. Eight-tenths of her industry is expended upon the 
soil ; but less than one-third of her domain is in pasturage, or under the 
plough. 

" Out of somewhat more than thirty-nine millions of acres, she tills 
but little over ten millions of acres, or about twenty-six and a quarter 
per cent., whilst New York has subdued about forty-one per cent., or 
twelve and a quarter out of her twenty-nine and a half millions of 
acres : and Massachusetts, with her sterile soil and inhospitable climate, 
has reclaimed from the forest, the quarry, and the marsh, about forty- 
two and a half per cent., or two and one-eighth out of her little territory 
of five millions of acres. Yet, according to the census of 1840, only 
six-tenths of the labour of New York, and four-tenths of that of Massa- 
chusetts, or, relatively, one-fifth and two-fifths less than our own, is 
expended upon agriculture. * * * 

" The live stock of Virginia are worth only three dollars and thirty- 
one cents for every arable acre ; but in New York they are worth six 
dollars and seven cents, and in Massachusetts four dollars and fifty-two 
cents. 

" The proportion of hay for the same quantity of land is, for Virginia, 
eighty-one pounds ; for New Yoik, six hundred and seventy-nine 
pounds ; for Massachusetts, six hundred and eighty-four, pounds. * * 

" With access to the same markets, and with hundreds of mechanics 
of our own, who can vie with the best Northern manufacturers, we find 
that our implements are inferior, that the New York farmer spends upon 
his nearly three times as much as we do upon ours, and the Massachu- 
setts farmer more than double. * * * 

"Manure is indispensable to good husbandry. Judging from the 
history of agriculture in all other countries, we may safely say, that 
farming can never attain to continued perfection where manure is not 
put on with an unsparing hand. By faKthe larger part of this can only 
be made by stock, which should, at the same time, be made the source 
of profit, at least sufficient to pay the cost of their keep, so that, other 
things being equal, it is a safe rule to estimate the condition of a farming 
district by the amount of live stock it may possess, and the provision 
made for their sustenance. Applied in this instance, we see that the 
New York farmer has invested in live stock two dollars and seventy-six 
cents, and the Massachusetts farmer one dollar and twenty-one cents 



368 APPENDIX. 

per acre more than the Virginia farmer. In pasturage we cannot tell 
the difference. It is well, perhaps, for the honour of the State, that we 
cannot. But in hay, New York has five hundred and ninety-eight 
pounds, and Massachusetts six hundred and three pounds more per acre 
than we have. This, however, does not present the true state of the 
case. Land-locked by mountain barriers, as yet impassable for the 
ordinary agricultural staples, or debarred from their production by 
distance and prohibitory rates of transportation, most of the wealth and 
exports of many considerable portions of our State consists of live stock 
alone. What proportion these parts bear to the whole, we have been 
unable definitely to ascertain ; but it is, no doubt, so great as to warrant 
us in assuming a much more considerable disparity than the statistics 
show in the live stock of the whole Atlantic slope, as compared with 
New York and Massachusetts. And we shall appreciate, still more 
highly, the skill of the Northern farmer, if we reflect that a readier 
market for every, the most trivial, product of his farm, operates as 
a constant temptation to break up his rotation and diminish his stock. 

" In the above figures, carefully calculated from the data of authentic 
documents,* we find no cause for self-gratulation, but some food for 
meditation. They are not without use to those who would improve the 
future by the past. They show that we have not done our part in the 
bringing of land into cultivation ; that, notwithstanding natural advan- 
tages which greatly exceed those of the two States drawn into parallel 
with Virginia, we are yet behind them both — that with forty and sixty 
per cent, respectively of their industry devoted to other pursuits, into 
which it has been lured by prospects of greater gain, they have done 
more than we have clone. * * * 

" Whilst our population has increased for the last ten years, in a 
ratio of 11*66, that of New York has increased in a ratio of 27*52, and 
that of Massachusetts at the still heavier and more startling rate of 
34*81. With a territorial area thirty per cent, larger than New York, 
we have but little more than one-third of her Congressional representa- 
tion ; and Massachusetts, only one-eighth our size, comes within two of 
our number of representatives, we being cut down to thirteen, while she 
rises to eleven. And thus we. who once swayed the councils of the 
Union, find our power gone, and. our influence on the wane, at a time 
when both are of vital importance to our prosperity, if not to our safety. 
As other States accumulate the means of material greatness, and glide 
past us on the road to wealth and empire, we slight the warnings of dull 
statistics, and drive lazily along the field of ancient customs, or stop the 

* Abstract of the Seventh Census, and the able work of Professor Tucker, on 
the '■' Progress of the United States in Population and Wealth." 



APPENDIX. 369 

plough, to speed the politician — should we not, in too many cases, say 
with more propriety, the demagogue ? 

" State pride is a good thing ; it is one mode in which patriotism is 
manifested. But it is not always a wise one. Certainly not, when it 
makes us content on small grounds. And when it smothers up im- 
provement in self-satisfaction, it is a most pernicious thing. We have 
much to be proud of in Virginia. In intellect and fitness to command, 
in personal and social qualities, in high tone and noble bearing, in 
loyalty, in generosity, and magnanimity, and disinterestedness, above 
all, in moral purity, we once stood — let us hope, still stand — pre- 
eminent among our sister States. But the possession and practice of 
these virtues do not comprise our whole duty as men or as citizens. 
The great decree which has gone forth ordaining that we shall ' increase, 
and multiply, and replenish the earth,' enjoins upon us quite other 
duties, which cannot be neglected with impunity ; so we have found out 
by experience — for we have neglected these duties. And when we 
contemplate our field of labour, and the work we have done in it, we 
cannot but observe the sad contrast between capacity and achievement. 
With a wide-spread domain, with a kindly soil, with a climate whose 
sun radiates fertility, and whose very dews distil abundance, we find our 
inheritance so wasted that the eye aches to behold the prospect." 

2. 

The Census of 1850 gives the following values to agricultural 
land in the adjoining States of Virginia and Pennsylvania. 

In Virginia. In Pennsylvania. 

No. of acres improved land in farms, 10,360,135 8,626,619 

„ unimproved, 15,792,176 6,294,728 

Cash value of farms, $216,401,543— $8 an acre. $407,876,099— $25 an acre. 

Considering that, at the Kevolution, Virginia had nearly twice 
the population of Pennsylvania, was in possession of much more 
wealth or disposable capital, and had much the best natural 
facilities for external commerce and internal communication, if 
her political and social constitution had been and had continued 
equally good, and her people equally industrious and enter- 
prising with those of Pennsylvania, there is no reason why the 
value of her farms should not have been, at this time, at least 
equal to those of Pennsylvania. Were it so, it appears that 
Virginia, in that particular alone, would now be richer than 
she is by four hundred and thirty millions of dollars. 

If it should be thought that this difference between the value 
VOL II. 1} r. 



370 APPENDIX. 

of land in Virginia and Pennsylvania is in some degree due to 
more fertile soils in the latter, a similar comparison may be 
made with the other adjoining Free State, and old State of New 
Jersey, the climate of which, owing to its vicinity to the ocean, 
differs imperceptibly from that of Virginia, while its soil is 
decidedly less fertile, taking both States on an average. The 
average value of farming-land in New Jersey is recorded at 
£44. 

Give this value to the Virginia farms, and the difference 
between it and their present value would buy, at a large valua- 
tion, all the slaves now in the State, send them to Africa, 
provide each family of them five hundred dollars to start with 
when they reached there, and leave still a surplus which, divided 
among the present white population of the State, would give 
between two and three thousand dollars to each family. 

Some Southern writers have lately objected to comparisons 
of density of population, as indications of the prosperity of 
communities. Between two adjoining communities, however, 
where there are no restrictions upon the movements of the popu- 
lations, and when the people are so ready to move as both those 
of Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and of Virginia have shown 
themselves to be, the price of land must indicate with consider- 
able exactness the comparative value or desirableness of it, all 
things considered, to live upon. The Virginians do not admit, 
and have no occasion to do so, that Pennsylvania and New 
Jersey have any advantage over Virginia, in soil, in climate, or 
in any natural quality. 

3. 

In intellectual productions, the same general comparative 
barrenness is noticeable. 

From the Richmond Whig. 

"We receive nearly all our books from Northern or foreign authors — 
gotten up, printed by Northern or foreign publishers — while we have 
among us numberless men of ripe scholarship, profound acquirements, 
elegant and forcible writers — men willing to devote themselves to such 
labour, only a Southern hook is not patronized. The North usually 
scowls at it, ridicules it, or damns it with faint praise ; and the South 



APPENDIX. 371 

takes on a like hue and complexion and neglects it. We have printers 
and publishers able, willing, and competent to publish, but, such is the 
apathy on the part of Southern people, that it involves hazard to 
Southern publishers to put them out. Indeed, until recently, almost 
all the publications, even of Southern books, issued (and that was their 
only hope of success) from Northern houses. The last chance now of 
getting a Southern book sold, is to manage to secure the favourable 
notice of the Northern press, and then the South buys it. Our maga- 
zines and periodicals languish for support." 

Mr. Howison, " The Virginia Historian," observes : 

"The question might be asked, Where is the literature of Virginia? 
and it would not be easily answered. It is a melancholy fact, that her 
people have never been a reading people. In the mass they have shown 
an indifference to polite literature and education in general, depressing to 
the mind that wishes to see them respectable and happy." 

" It is with, pain," says the same authority, " that we are com- 
pelled to speak of the horrible cloud of ignorance that rests on 
Virginia," and he computes that (1848) there are in the State 
166,000 youth, between seven and sixteen years of age, and of 
these 126,000 attend no school at all, and receive no education 
except what can be imparted by poor and ignorant parents. 
Besides these, be reckons 449,087 slaves and 48,852 free 
negroes, with few exceptions, wholly uneducated. 

" The policy which discourages further extension of knowledge among 
them is necessary : but the fact remains unchanged, that they exist 
among us, a huge mass of mind, almost entirely unenlightened. We 
fear that the most favourable estimates will leave, in our State, 683,000 
rational beings who are destitute of the merest rudiments of knowledge." 



2 b 2 



372 



APPENDIX (B.) 



the slavf: TRADE IN "VIRGIHIA. 



From Chambers's Journal. 

" The exposure of ordinary goods in a store is not more open to the 
public than are the sales of slaves in Richmond. By consulting the 
local newspapers, I learned that the sales take place by auction every 
morning in the offices of certain brokers, who, as I understood by the 
terms of their advertisements, purchased or received slaves for sale on 
commission. 

" Where the street was in which the brokers conducted their busi- 
ness, I did not know; but the discovery was easily made. Rambling 
down the main street in the city, I found that the subject of my search 
was a narrow and short thoroughfare, turning off to the left, and 
terminating in a similar cross thoroughfare. Both streets, lined with 
brick houses, were dull and silent. There was not a person to whom I 
could put a question. Looking about, I observed the office of a com- 
mission agent, and into it I stepped. Conceive the idea of a large shop 
with two windows, and a door between ; no shelving or counters inside ; 
the interior a spacious, dismal apartment, not well swept ; the only 
furniture a desk at one of the windows, and a bench at one side of the 
shop, three feet high, with two steps to it from the floor. I say, con- 
ceive the idea of this dismal-looking place, with nobody in it but three 
negro children, who, as I entered, were playing at auctioneering each 
other. An intensely black little negro, of four or five years of age, was 
standing on the bench, or block, as it is called, with an equally black 
girl, about a year younger, by his side, whom he was pretending to sell 
by bids to another black child, who was rolling about the floor. 

"My appearance did not interrupt the merriment. The little 
auctioneer continued his mimic play, and appeared to enjoy the joke of 
selling the girl, who stood demurely by his side. 

" ' Fifty dolla for de gal — fifty dolla — fifty dolia — I sell dis here fine 
gal for fifty dolla,' was uttered with extraordinary volubility by the 
woolly-headed urchin, accompanied with appropriate gestures, in imita- 
tion, doubtless, of the scenes he had seen enacted daily on the spot. I 



APPENDIX. 373 

spoke a few words to the little creatures, but was scarcely understood 
and the fun went on as if I had not been present : so I left them, happy 
in rehearsing what was likely soon to be their own fate. 

" At another office of a similar character, on the opposite side of the 
street, I was more successful. Here, on inquiry, I was respectfully in- 
formed, by a person in attendance, that the sale would take place the 
following morning at half-past nine o'clock. 

" Next day 1 set out accordingly, after breakfast, for the scene of 
operations, in which there was now a little more life. Two or three 
persons were lounging about, smoking cigars ; and, looking along the 
street, I observed that three red flags were projected from the doors of 
those offices in which sales were to occur. On each flag was pinned a 
piece of paper, notifying the articles to be sold. The number of lots 
was not great. On the first was the following announcement : — 'Will 
be sold this morning, at half-past nine o'clock, a Man and a Boy.' 

" It was already the appointed hour ; but as no company had as- 
sembled, I entered and took a seat by the fire. The office, provided 
with a few deal forms and chairs, a desk at one of the windows, and a 
block accessible by a few steps, was tenantless, save by a gentleman 
who was arranging papers at the desk, and to whom 1 bad addressed 
myself on the previous evening. Minute after minute passed, and still 
nobody entered. There was clearly no hurry in going to business. 1 
felt almost like an intruder, and had formed the resolution of departing, 
in order to look into the other offices, when the person referred to left 
his desk, and came and seated himself opposite to me at the fire. 

" ' You are an Englishman,' said he, looking me steadily in the face ; 
' do you want to purchase ?' 

" ' Yes,' I replied, ' I am an Englishman ; but I do not intend to 
purchase. I am travelling about for information, and I shall- feel 
obliged by your letting me know the prices at which negro servants are 
sold.' 

" ' I will do so with much pleasure,' was the answer ; ' do you mean 
field-hands or house-servants ?' 

" 'All kinds,' I replied; ' I wish to get all the information I can.' 

" With much politeness, the gentleman stepped to his desk, and 
began to draw up a note of prices. This, however, seemed to require 
careful consideration ; and while the note was preparing, a lanky person, 
in a wide-awake hat, and chewing tobacco, entered, and took the chair 
just vacated. He had scarcely seated himself, when, on looking towards 
the door, I observed the subjects of sale — the man and boy indicated by 
the paper on the red flag — enter together, aud quietly walk to a form 
at the back of the shop, whence, as the day was chilly, they edged 



374 APPENDIX. 

themselves towards the fire, in the corner where I was seated. I was now 
between the two parties — the white man on the right, and the old and 
young negro on the left — and I waited to see what would take place. 

" The sight of the negroes at once attracted the attention of Wide- 
awake. Chewing with vigour, he kept keenly eyeing the pair, as if to 
see what they were good for. Under this searching gaze, the man and 
boy were a little abashed, but said nothing. Their appearance had 
little of the repulsiveness we are apt to associate with the idea of slaves. 
They were dressed in a gray woollen coat, pants, and waistcoat, coloured 
cotton neckcloths, clean shirts, coarse woollen stockings, and stout 
shoes. The man wore a black hat ; the boy was bareheaded. Moved 
by a sudden impulse, Wide-awake left his seat, and rounding the back 
of my chair, began to grasp at the man's arms, as if to feel their 
muscular capacity. He then examined his hands and fingers ; and, last 
of all, told him to open his mouth and show his teeth, which he did in 
a submissive manner. Having finished these examinations, Wide-awake 
resumed his seat, and chewed on in silence as before. 

"I thought it was but fair that I should now have my turn of inves- 
tigation, and accordingly asked the elder negro what was his age. He 
said he did not know. I next inquired how old the boy was. He said 
he was seven years of age. On asking the man if the boy was his son, 
he said he was not — he was his cousin. 1 was going into other par- 
ticulars, when the office-keeper approached, and handed me the note he 
had been preparing ; at the same time making the observation that the 
market was dull at present, and that there never could be a more 
favourable opportunity of buying. I thanked him for the trouble 
which he had taken ; and now submit a coj)y of his price-current : 

Best Men, 18 to 25 years old . . 1200 to 1300 dollars. 

Fair do. do. do. . . 950 to 1050 „ 

Boys, 5 feet 850 to 950 „ 

Do., 4 feet 8 inches . . . 700 to 800 „ 

Do., 4 feet 5 inches . . . 500 to 600 „ 

Do., 4 feet 375 to 450 „ 

Young Women .... 800 to 1000 „ 

Girls, 5 feet 750 to 850 „ 

Do., 4 feet 9 inches . . . 700 to 750 „ 

Do., 4 feet 350 to 450 „ 

(Signed) 

Richmond, Virginia. 
"Leaving this document for future consideration, I pass on to n 



APPENDIX. 375 

history of the day's proceedings. It was now ten minutes to ten o'clock, 
and Wide-awake and I being alike tired of waiting, we went oft' in quest 
of sales further up the street. Passing the second office, in which also 
nobody was to be seen, we were more fortunate at the third. Here 
according to the announcement on the paper stuck to the flag, there 
were to be sold, ' A woman and three children ; a young woman, three 
men, a middle-aged woman, and a little boy.' Already a crowd had 
met, composed, I should think, of persons mostly from the cotton- 
plantations of the South. A few were seated near a fire on the right- 
hand side, and others stood round an iron stove in the middle of the 
apartment. The whole place had a dilapidated appearance. From a 
back window, there was a view into a ruinous court-yard ; beyond 
which, in a hollow, accessible by a side lane, stood a shabby brick house, 
on which the word Jail was inscribed in large black letters on a white 
ground. I imagined it to be a depot for the reception of negroes. 

" On my arrival, and while making these preliminary observations, 
the lots for sale had not made their appearance. In about five minutes 
afterwards, they were ushered in, one after the other, under the charge 
of a mulatto, who seemed to act as principal assistant. I saw no whips, 
chains, or any other engine of force. Nor did such appear to be 
required. All the lots took their seats on two long forms near the 
stove ; none showed any signs of resistance ; nor did any one utter a 
word. Their manner was that of perfect humility and resignation. 

"As soon as all were seated, there was a general examination of their 
respective merits, by feeling their arms, looking into their mouths, and 
investigating the quality of their hands and fingers — this last being 
evidently an important particular. Yet there was no abrupt rudeness in 
making these examinations — no coarse or domineering language was 
employed. The three negro men were dressed in the usual manner — in 
gray woollen clothing. The woman, with three children, excited my 
peculiar attention. She was neatly attired, with a coloured handker- 
chief bound around her head, and wore a white apron over her gown. 
Her children were all girls, one of them a baby at the breast three 
months old, and the others two and three years of age respectively, 
rigged out with clean white pinafores. There was not a tear or an 
emotion visible in the whole party. Everything seemed to be con- 
sidered as a matter of course ; and the change of owners was possibly 
looked forward to with as much indifference as ordinary hired servants 
anticipate a removal from one employer to another. 

" While intending purchasers were proceeding with personal examina- 
tions of the several lots, I took the liberty of putting a few questions 
to the mother of the children. The following was our conversation :— 



376 APPENDIX. 

" ' Are yon a married woman ?' 

" ' Yes, sir.' 

" ' How many children have you had?' 

" ' Seven.' 

" ' Where is your husband ?' 

" ' In Madison county.' 

" ' When did you part from him ?' 

" ' On Wednesday — two days ago.' 

" ' Were you sorry to part from him ? ; 

" ' Yes, sir,' she replied, with a deep sigh ; ' my heart was a'most 
broke.' 

" ' Why is your master selling you?' 

" ' I don't know — he wants money to buy some land — suppose Le 
sells me for that.' 

" There might not be a word of truth in these answers, for I had no 
means of testing their correctness ; but the woman seemed to speak 
unreservedly, and I am inclined to think that she said nothing but 
what, if necessary, could be substantiated. I spoke, also, to the young 
woman who was seated near her. She, like the others, was perfectly 
black, and appeared stout and healthy, of which some of the persons 
present assured themselves by feeling her arms and ankles, looking into 
her mouth, and causing her to stand up. She told me she had several 
brothers and sisters, but did not know where they were. She said she 
was a house-servant, and would be glad to be bought by a good master 
— looking at me, as if I should not be unacceptable. 

"I have said that there was an entire absence of emotion in the looks 
of men, women, and children, thus seated preparatory to being sold. 
This does not correspond with the ordinary accounts of slave-sales, 
which are represented as tearful and harrowing. My belief is, that 
none of the parties felt deeply on the subject, or at least that any 
distress they experienced was but momentary — soon passed away, and 
was forgotten. One of my reasons for this opinion rests on a trifling 
incident which occurred. While waiting for the commenccmen of the 
sale, one of the gentlemen present amused himself with a pointer dog, 
which, at command, stood on its hind legs, and took pieces of bread 
from his pocket. These tricks greatly entertained the row of negroes, 
old and young ; and the poor woman, whose heart three minutes before 
was almost broken, now laughed as heartily as any one. 

" ' Sale is going to commence — this way, gentlemen,' cried a man at 
the door to a number of loungers outside ; and all having assembled, the 
mulatto assistant led the woman and her children to the block, which 
he helped her to mount. There she stood, with her infant at the breast. 



APPENDIX. 



377 



and one of her girls at each side. The auctioneer, a handsome, gentle- 
manly personage, took his ] lace, with one foot on an old deal chair with 
a broken back, and the other raised on the somewhat more elevated 
block. It was a striking scene. 

"'Well, gentlemen,' began the salesman, 'here is a capital woman 
and her three children, all in good health — what do you say for them ? 
Give me an offer. (Nobody speaks.) I put up the Avhole lot at 850 
dollars — 850 dollars — 850 dollars (speaking very fast) — 850 dollars. 
Will no one advance upon that? A very extraordinary bargain, gentle- 
men. A fine, healthy baby. Hold it up. (Mulatto goes up the first 
step of the block ; takes the baby from the woman's breast, and holds it 
aloft with one hand, so as to show that it was a veritable sucking baby.) 
That will do. A woman, still young, and three children, all for 850 
dollars. An advance, if you please, gentlemen. (A voice bids 860.) 
Thank you, sir, 860 ; any one bids more ? (A second voice says, 870 ; 
and so on the bidding goes as far as 890 dollars, when it stops.) That 
won't do, gentlemen. I cannot take such a low price. (After a pause, 
addressing the mulatto) : She may go down.' Down from the block 
the woman and her children were therefore conducted by the assistant, 
and, as if nothing had occurred, they calmly resumed their seats by the 
stove. 

" The next lot brought forward was one of the men. The assistant 
beckoning to him with his hand, requested him to come behind a 
canvas screen, of two leaves, which was standing near the back window. 
The man placidly rose, and having been placed behind the screen, was 
ordered to take off his clothes, which he did without a word or look of 
remonstrance. About a dozen gentlemen crowded to the spot while the 
poor fellow was stripping himself, and as soon as he stood on tne floor, 
bare from top to toe, a most rigorous scrutiny of his person was in- 
stituted. The clear black skin, back and front, was viewed all over for 
sores from disease ; and there was no part of his body left unexamined. 
The man was told to open and shut his hands, asked if he could pick 
cotton, and every tooth in his head was scrupulously looked at. The 
investigation being at an end, he was ordered to dress himself; and 
having done so, was requested to walk to the block. 

The ceremony of offering him for competition was gone through as 
before, but no one would bid. The other two men, after undergoing 
similar examinations behind the screen, were also put up, but with the 
same result. Nobody would bid for them, and they were all sent back 
to their seats. It seemed as if the company had conspired not to buj- 
anj^thing that day. Probably some imperfections had been detected in 
the personal qualities of the negroes. Be this as it may, the auctioneer, 



378 APPENDIX. 

perhaps a little out of temper from his want of success, walked off to his 
desk, and the affair was so far at an end. 

" ' This way, gentlemen — this way !' was heard from a voice outside, 
and the company immediately hived off to the second establishment. 
At this office there was a young woman, and also a man, for sale. The 
woman was put up first at 500 dollars ; and possessing some recom- 
mendable qualities, the bidding for her was run as high as 710 dollars, 
at which she was knocked down to a purchaser. The man, after the 
customary examination behind the screen, was put up at 700 dollars ; 
but a small imperfection having been observed in his person, no one 
would bid for him ; and he was ordered down. 

" ' This way, gentlemen, this way — down the street, if you please !' 
was now shouted by a person in the employment of the first firm, to 
whose office all very willingly adjourned — one migratory company, it 
will be perceived, serving all the slave-auctions in the place. In going 
in the crowd, I went to see what should be the fate of the man and boy, 
with whom I had already had some communication. 

"There the pair, the two cousins, sat by the fire, just where I had 
left them an hour ago. The boy was put up first. 

" ' Come along, my man — jump up ; there's a good boy !' said one of 
the partners, a bulky and respectable looking person, with a gold chain 
and bunch of seals ; at the same time getting on the block. With 
alacrity the little fellow came forward, and, mounting the steps, stood 
by his side. The forms in front were filled by the company ; and as I 
seated myself, I found that my old companion, Wide-awake, was close 
at hand, still chewing and spitting at a great rate. 

" ' Now, gentlemen,' said the auctioneer, putting his hand on the 
shoulder of the boy, 'here is a very fine boy, seven years of age, 
warranted sound — what do you say for him ? I put him up at 500 
dollars — 500 dollars (speaking quick, his right hand raised up, and 
coming down on the open palm of his left) — 500 dollars. Any one say 
more than 500 dollars ? (560 is bid.) 560 dollars. Nonsense! Just 
look at him. See how high he is. (He draws the lot in front of him, 
and shows that the little fellow's head comes up to his breast.) You see 
he is a fine, tall, health}' boy. Look at his hands.' 

" Several step forward, and cause the boy to open and shut his hand:; 
— the flexibility of the small fingers, black on the one side, and whitish 
on the other, being well looked to. The hands, and also the mouth, 
having given satisfaction, an advance is made to 570, then to 5bO 
dollars. 

" ' Gentlemen, that is a very poor price for a boy of this size. (Ad- 
dressing the lot) — Go down, my boy, and show them how you can run. 



APPENDIX. 379 

u The boy, seemingly happy to do as he was bid, went down, from the 
block, and ran smartly across the floor several times ; the eyes of every 
one in the room following him. 

" ' Now that will do. Get np again. (Boy mounts the block, the 
steps being rather deep for his short legs ; but the auctioneer kindly 
lends him a hand.) Come, gentlemen, you see this is a first-rate lot. 
(590— 600— 610— 620— 030 dollars are bid.) I will sell him for 630 
dollars. (Right hand coming down on left.) Last call. 630 dollars, 
once — 630 dollars, twice. (A pause ; hand sinks.) Gone !' 

" The boy having descended, the man was desired to come forward ; 
and after the usual scrutiny behind a screen, he took his place on the 
block. 

" ' Well, now, gentlemen,' said the auctioneer, ' here is a right prime 
lot. Look at this man ; strong, healthy, able-bodied ; could not be a 
better hand for field-work. He can drive a waggon or anything. 
What do you say for him ? I offer the man at the low price of 800 
dollars — he is well worth 1200 dollars. Come, make an advance, if you 
please. 800 dollars said for the man (a bid) ; thank you ; 810 dollars — 
810 dollars— 810 dollars (several bids)— 820— 830— 850— 860— going 
at 860 — going. Gentlemen, this is far below his value. A strong- 
boned man, fit for any kind of heavy work. Just take a look at him. 
(Addressing the lot) : Walk down. (Lot dismounts, and walks from 
one side of the shop to the other. When about to reascend the block, a 
gentleman, who is smoking a cigar, examines his mouth with his fingers. 
Lot resumes his place.) Pray, gentlemen, be quick (continues the 
auctioneer) ; I must sell him, and 860 dollars are only bid for the man 
— 860 dollars. (A fresh run of bids to 945 dollars.) 945 dollars, once — 
945 dollars, twice (looking slowly round, to see if all were done), 945 
dollars. Going — going — (hand drops) — gone !' 

" Such were a forenoon's experiences in the slave-market of Rich- 
mond. Everything is described precisely as it occurred, without passion 
or prejudice. It would not have been difficult to be sentimental on a 
subject which appeals so strongly to the feelings, but I have preferred 
telling the simple truth. In a subsequent chapter I shall endeavour to 
offer some general views of slavery in its social and political relations.' 



380 



APPENDIX (C.) 



COST OF LABOUR IN THE BORDER STATES. 



From a native Virginian, who has resided in New York : 
" To the Editor of the N. 7. Daily Times. 

" Sir — You will not object, I think, to receive an endorsement from 
a Southern man, of the statements contained in number seven of Letters 
on the Productions, Industry, and Resources of the Southern States ' [by 
Mr. Olmsted], published in your issue on Thursday last * * * 

" Where you would see one white labourer on a Northern farm, scores 
of blacks should appear on' the Virginian plantation, the best of them 
only performing each day one-fourth a white man's daily task, and all 
requiring an incessant watch to get even this small modicum of labour. 
Yet they eat as much again as a white man, must have their two suits 
of clothes and shoes yearly, and although the heartiest, healthiest look- 
ing men and women anywhere on earth, actually lose for their owners 
or employers one-sixth their time on account of real or pretended sick- 
ness. Be assured, our model Virginia farmer has his hands full, and is 
not to be envied as a jolly fox-hunting idler, lording it over ' ranks of 
slaves in chains.' No, sir ; he must be up by ' the dawn's early light,' 
and head the column, direct in person the commencing operations, 
urging, and coaxing ; must praise and punish — but too glad to reward 
the meritorious, granting liberty (i. e. leave of absence) often to his 
own servant, that he dare not take himself, because he must not leave 
home for fear something will go wrong ere his return. Hence but too 
many give up, to overseers or other irresponsible persons, the care and 
management of their estates, rather than undergo such constant annoy- 
ance and confinement. Poor culture, scanty crops, and worn-out land, 
is the inevitable result ; and yet, harassed and trammeled as they are, 
no one but a Southerner regards them with the slightest degree of com- 
passion or even forbearance : and our good friends, the Abolitionists, 
would have 'all the rest of mankind' rank them with pirates and cut- 
throats. But my object in this communication is not to sympathize 
with nor ask sympathy on behalf of slaveholders. For, however 



APPENDIX. 381 

sinning or sinned against, they seem quite able to take their own part, 
it" molested; and are remarkably indifferent, withal, as to the opinions 
expressed by ignorant ranters concerning them. 

" If I have the ability, my desire is to draw a parallel between the 
state and condition of Northern and Southern farmers and fanning. 
The Northern farmer does undoubtedly experience a full share of those 
troubles and cares attendant even upon the most easy and favourable 
system of farming ; but, sir, can he have any such responsibility as that 
resting upon the owner of from 50 to 300 ignorant, lazy negroes ? 
****** 

" You must plough deep, follow up quickly, and sow with powerful 
fertilizers, attend closely to the growing crop, gather in rapidly before 
blight or mildew can come and destroy, says our Northern farmer. On 
a farm of three hundred acres, thus managed with five hands, two extra 
during harvest, I can raise thirty bushels of wheat to the acre. Now 
picture the condition of him South, and hear his answer. With from 
three to fifteen hundred acres of land, and a host of negroes great and 
small, his cares and troubles are without end. ' The hands,' able men 
and women, to say nothing of children, and old ones laid by from age 
or other infirmity, have wants innumerable. Some are sick, others 
pretend to be so, many obstinate, indolent, or fractious — each class 
requires different treatment; so that without mentioning the actual 
daily wants, as provisions, clothing, etc., etc., the poor man's time, and 
thoughts — indeed, every faculty of mind — must be exercised on behalf 
of those who have no minds of their own. 

" His answer, then, to the Northern farmer is : ' I have not one hand 
on my place capable and willing to do the work you name.' They tell 
me that ' five of them could not perform the task required of one.' 
They have never been used to do it, and no amount of force or persua- 
sion will induce them to try. Their task is so much per day ; all over 
that I agree to pay them for, at the same rate I allow free labourers — 
but 'tis seldom they make extra time, except to get money enough to 
buy tobacco, rum, or sometimes fine clothes. Can it be wondered at 
that systematic farming, such as we see North and East, is unknown 
or not practised to any great degree South ? The two systems will not 
harmonize. 

" E. J. W." 



382 APPENDIX. 



From a native New Yorker, who has resided in Virginia : 

" To the Editor of the New York Daily Times. 

" I have read with deep interest the series of letters from the South, 
published in your columns. Circumstances have made me quite familiar 
with the field of your correspondent's investigation, much more familiar 
than he is at present, and yet I am happy to say, that his letters are 
more satisfactory than any I have ever seen relating to the South. It 
is now about ten years since, going from this State, I first became fami- 
liar with those facts in regard to the results of slave labour, etc., that 
your correspondent and his readers are so much surprised at. I have 
talked those subjects over as he is doing, with the planters along the 
shores of the Chesapeake, and on both sides of the James River, through 
the Tidewater, the middle and the mountainous districts east of the 
Blue Pudge, and in many of those rich counties in the Valley of Vir- 
ginia. I may add that, subsequently, spending my winters at the 
South for my health, I have become Well nigh as familiar with the 
States of North and South Carolina, and Georgia, as I am with Virginia. 
I have, therefore, almost of necessity, given not a little thought to the 
questions your correspondent is discussing. 

"His statement, in regard to the comparative value of slave and free- 
labour, will surprise those who have given little or no attention to the 
subject. I wish to confirm his statements on this subject. In Eastern 
Virginia I have repeatedly been told that the task of one cord of wood 
a day, or five cords a week, rain or shine, is the general task, and one 
ot the most profitable day's work that the slave does for his master. 
And this, it should be remembered, is generally pine wood, cut from 
trees as straight and beautiful as ever grew. The reason of this ' pro- 
fitableness ' is the fact that the labour requires so little mental effort. 
The grand secret of the difference between free and slave labour is, that 
the latter is without intelligence, and without motive. If the former, 
in Western New York, has a piece of work to perform, the first thought 
is, how it can be done with the least labour, and the most expeditiously. 
He thinks, he plans, before he commences, and while about his labour. 
His mind labours as much as his body, and this mental labour saves a 
vast deal of physical labour. Besides this, he is urged on by the 
strongest motives. He enjoys the products of his labour. The more 
intelligent and earnest his labours, the richer are his rewards. Slave 
labour is exactly the opposite of this. It is unintelligent labour — labour 
without thought — without plan — without motive. It is little more 
than brute force. To one who has not witnessed it, it is utterly incon- 



APPENDIX. 383 

ceivable how little labour a slave, or a company of slaves, will accom- 
plish in a given time. Their awkwardness, their slowness, the utter 
absence of all skill and ingenuity in accomplishing the work before them, 
are absolutely painful to one who has been accustomed to seeing work 
done with any sort of spirit and life. Often they spend hours in doing 
what, with a little thought, might be despatched in a few moments, or 
perhaps avoided altogether. This is a necessary result of employing 
labour which is without intelligence and without motive. I have often 
thought of a remark made to me by a planter, in New Kent County, 
Virginia. We were riding past a field where some of his hands were 
making a sort of wicker-work fence, peculiar to Eastern Virginia. 

' There,' said he, in a decidedly fretted tone, ' those " boys " have been 

days in making that piece offence.' 1 expressed my astonishment that 
they could have spent so much time, and yet have accomplished so very 
little. He assured me it was so — and' after a slight pause, the tones of 
his voice entirely changed, said : ' Well, I believe they have done as 
well as I would in their circumstances !' And so it is. The slave is 
without motive, without inducement to exertion. His food, his cloth- 
ing, and all his wants are supplied as they are, without care on his part, 
aud when these are supplied he has nothing more to hope for. He can 
make no provision for old age, he can lay up nothing for his children, 
he has no voice at all in the disposal of the results of his earnings. 
What cares he whether his labour is productive or unproductive. His 
principal care seems to be to accomplish just as little as possible. I 
have said that the slaves were without ingenuity — I must qualify that 
remark. I have been amused and astonished at their exceeding inge- 
nuity in avoiding and slighting the work that was required of them. 
It has often seemed to me that their principal mental efforts were in 
this direction, and I think your correspondent will find universal testi- 
mony that they have decided talent in this line. 

" H. W. P." 

In a volume entitled " Notes on Uncle Tom's Cabin ; being 
a Logical Answer to its Allegations and Inferences against 
Slavery as an Institution," by the Eev. E. J. Stearns, of Mary- 
land (much the most thorough review of that work made from 
the Southern stand-point), the author, who is a New-Englander 
by birth, shows, by an elaborate calculation, that in Maryland, 
the cost of a negro, at twenty-one years of age, has been, to the 
man who raised him, eight hundred dollars. Six per cent. 
interest on this cost, with one and three-quarters per cent, for 



384 APPENDIX. 

life insurance, per annum, makes the lowest wages of a negro, 
under the most favourable circumstances, sixty-two dollars a 
year (or five dollars a month), paid in advance, in the shape of 
food and clothing. The author, whose object is to prove that 
the slaveholder is not guilty, as Mrs. Stowe intimates, of 
stealing the negroes' labour, proceeds, as follows, to show that 
he pays a great deal more for it than Mrs. Stowe's neighbours 
in New England do, for the labour they hire : — 

" If now we add to this (what every New-Englander who has lived 
at the South knows), that Quashy does not do more than one-third, or, 
at the very utmost, one-half as much work as an able-bodied labourer 
on a farm at the North ; and that, for this he receives, besides the five 
dollars above mentioned, his food, clothing', and shelter, with medical 
attendance and nursing when sick, and no deduction for lost time, even 
though he should be sick for years, while the ' farm-hand ' at the North 
gets only ten or twelve dollars, and has to clothe himself out of it, and 
pay his own doctor's and nurse's bill in sickness, to say nothing of lost 
time, I think we shall come to the conclusion if there has been stealing 
anywhere, it has not been from Quashy." — P. 25. 

" I recollect, the first time I saw Quashy at work in the field, I was 
struck by the lazy, listless manner in which he raised his hoe. It re- 
minded me of the working-beam of the engine on the steam-boat that I 
had just landed from — fifteen strokes a minute ; but there was this dif- 
ference : that, whereas the working-beam kept steadily at it, Quashy, 
on the contrary, would stop about every five strokes and lean upon his 
hoe, and look around, apparently congratulating himself upon the 
amount of work he had accomplished. - 

" Mrs. Stowe may well call Quashy ' shiftless.' One of my father's 
hired men — who was with him seven years — did more work in that time 
than an average negro would do in his whole life. Nay, I myself have 
done more work in a day, — and followed it up, too — than I ever saw 
a negro do, and I was considered remarkably lazy with the plough or 
hoe."— P. 142. 



385 



APPENDIX (D.) 



STATISTICS OF THE GEORGIA SEABOARD. 

The notes here following are derived from a volume entitled 
" White's Statistics of Georgia," a large octavo of seven hundred 
pages, compiled and published in the State. A special section 
of the book is devoted to the condition of the trade of each 
county, while a comparison is also attempted to be given, from 
the personal observation of the compiler, of the comparative 
social, moral, and religious properties of the people. Thus, so 
far as the plan has been thoroughly executed, an estimate is pre- 
sented, not only of the ordinary commercial demand of the citi- 
zens, but, so to speak, of the state of their intellectual and moral 
market. 

The counties referred to by Mr. Gregg are in the second tier 
from the sea in South Carolina. I shall give statistics from Mr. 
White, and other authorities named in the note,* with regard to 
all the second tier counties of Georgia. What of good soil to be 
brought into cultivation, without a heavy expenditure at starting, 
there was originally in these counties begun to be first occupied 
by whites about 1740. It was not till nearly twenty years after 
this that slavery obtained the slightest footing in them, and it 
was not till about thirty years ago that they had begun to 
seriously deteriorate in production. There is yet some rich 
land upon the alluvial bottoms of the numerous rivers, which, 
rising above, pass through these counties toward the ocean ; and 
here many wealthy planters still remain, owning a large number 
of slaves, and there has been recently a considerable increase of 

* The population, following Mr. White, is given in round numbers, from the 
State Census of 1845 ; average personal estate, per family of citizens, reckoned 
from an official return, published in the " Soil of the South " (Columbus, Georgia, 
1852, p. 210), the amount given for each county being divided by one-fifth the 
number of its population (for families). Observations on education a id the cha- 
racter of the people, from " White's Statistics of Georgia " (generally in quotations). 
School, library, and church statistics, in figures from official United States Census, 
1850. 

VOL. II. 2 c 



386 APPENDIX. 

production of some parts owing to the employment of capital in 
draining marshes, the riches of which have previously been con- 
sidered impregnable.* In general, hgwever, this whole range of 
country is now quite barren, and most of the land at present 
cultivated will not probably yield one third as large a crop for 
the same expenditure of labour as would fair Mississippi cotton 
land. The slaves formerly owned here have therefore been very 
largely transferred westward, and the land they have worn out is 
left for the non-slaveholding whites to make the best of. 

As an instructive contrast, I place in an adjoining column 
with the statistics of these counties those of the counties which 
bound each of them on the east. In these there is a much larger 
proportion of rich alluvial soil, and they contain the famous 
" sea island " cotton plantations, as well as the Georgian rice 
plantations. The valuable soil is still entirely possessed, as 
will be evident, by large planters and slave owners, the usual 
monopolizing effect of slavery being in this instance increased 
by the peculiar local insalubrity of the coast. 

SECOND TIER COUNTIES. COAST COUNTIES. 

Bullock County.— (The Central . Bryan County, adjoining Bul- 
Kailroad, the best conducted road lock county, on the coast. 
in all the South, passes either 
through this county or close be- 
side its northern boundary, for a 
distance of fifty miles. It is 
watered by the Ogeechee and Con- 
nauchee and a number of smaller 
rivers. On the larger rivers there 
is yet a considerable amount of 
productive land.) 

* The presence of these few planters, with their valuable human property, 
makes the average nominal wealth of each white family, at first sight, appear 
large. If, however, the slaves had been appraised at only $500 each, which 
would be low, they would alone amount in value in some counties to the sum 
assigned for the whole personal property of the citizens. This item is not, there- 
fore, trustworthy, but, in comparing the coast and second tier counties, it serves to 
show the great difference in the average wealth of the citizens of each. A similar 
division of personal estate, as officially returned for the city of is'ew York, would 
±.7p $4,660 to each family. 



APPENDIX. 



387 



SECOND TIER COUNTIES. 

Population. — Whites, 2,000 ; 
slaves, 1,000. Average amount 
of property to each white family, 
$1, 570. State tax for each white 
family, $2.95. 

Mr. White omits his usual sta- 
tistics of trade. Both in this and 
the adjoining coast county of 
Bryan, the poor people, as well as 
the planters, are in the habit of 
dealing directly with Savannah, 
as described in " Seaboard Slave 
States," p. 414, and there are pro- 
bably no established tradesmen in 
either. 

The soil is described by Mr. 
White as generally poor, with some 
productive " hummock " and river 
tracts. 



Education. — " No newspapers 
are taken, and few books read. 
The school fund was once suffi- 
cient to educate many poor chil- 
dren, but owing to bad manage- 
ment it has become exhausted." 
Thus says Mr. White. The census 
returns show, however, a public 
school expenditure of $150 per 
annum, and a private expenditure 
of $3,000, divided among fifteen 
schools, which is one for eighty 
square miles. This is so much 
better than usual, that, with Mr. 
White's remarks, I am inclined to 
think it an error. 



COAST COUNTIES. 

Population. — Whites, 1,000 ; 
slaves, 2,400. Average amount 
of property to each white family, 
$5,30- (fourfold what it is in Bul- 
lock county). State tax to each 
white family, $7. 

No statistics of trade, again. 



Soil. — " The soil, under the pre- 
sent system of culture, cannot, 
without rest and manure, be made 
to produce more than one half as 
much as when new." This ap- 
pears to refer particularly to the 
rice plantations. 

Education. — There is no acade- 
my, and there are no schools, ex- 
cept those supported by the " Poor 
School Fund " (a State provision 
for the children of indigent pa- 
rents). "The children of the 
wealthy are either educated by 
private teachers or sent to school 
in the more favoured portions of 
the country ; [the vicinity of Sa- 
vannah, where there is a celebrated 
and well endowed academy, and of 
Liberty, where there are others, 
accounts for this ;] the population 
is too sparse to furnish pupils 
enough to sustain a regular school " 
(large tracts of land being held by 
the planters, though wholly unpro- 

2 c 2 



388 



APPENDIX. 



SECOND TIER COUNTIES. 



Character of the people. — "By 
industry and economy, they ma- 
nage to supply their wants, which, 
however, are few. Many rely, a 
great deal on game. * * * As 
far as temperance is concerned, 
they are behind the times. Whis- 
key has its votaries. Those who 
have attempted to show the citi- 
zens the folly and ill consequences 
of intemperance have been insulted 
and threatened. Even ministers 
of our holy religion have publicly 
denounced the motives and efforts 
of those who have attempted to 
form temperance societies." 

Religion. — " The most numerous 
[sects] are the Anti-Missionary 
[hard shell ?] Baptists." Ten 
church edifices ; average value, 
$ 145. No Sunday school or other 
public libraries. 

Tatnall County. 

Population. — Whites, 2,000 ; 
slaves, 600. Average amount of 
property to each white family, 
$901. 



Capital invested in trade, 
4,200. 



COAST COUNTIES. 

ductive, to prevent the settlement 
of poor whites near their negroes, 
as one in this county informed me). 
According to the census returns, 
there were eight schools (one to 
twenty-five square miles) of all 
kinds, with an average of twelve 
pupils each. Total expenditure for 
each school, $38 per annum. 

Character of the people. — No 
remarks. 



Religion. — The county contains 
eleven church edifices ; average 
value, $500. No Sunday school 
or other public libraries. 



Liberty County. 

Pojwlation.—Whhes, 2,000 ; 
slaves, 6,000. Average amount of 
property to each white family, 
$6,330. 

(State tax to each white family, 



Capital 

$3,850. 



invested in trade, 



APPENDIX. 



389 



SECOND TIER COUNTIES. 

Soil. — " Light and sandy, except 
on the streams, which is stiff." 



Education. — " Education is 
neglected." Eight public schools 
(1 to 148 square miles), with six- 
teen pupils each. Annual cost of 
maintenance of each school, $150. 
No other schools; no Sunday 
school or other libraries. 



Character of the people. — " So- 
ber, industrious and hospitable " 
(phrases applied to every county 
not specially noted as conspicuous 
for some vice or virtue of its inha- 
bitants.) 

Religion. — Sixteen church edi- 
fices, valued at 938 each. Ac- 
cording, to Mr. White, however, 
there are " about thirty churches " 
in the county. 

Wayne County. 

Population. — Whites, 930 ; 



COAST COUNTIES. 

Soil. — " The practice has been 
to wear out the virgin soils, and 
clear new lands. * * * Much 
waste land." 

Education. — " Excellent schools 
are found. * * * And it is 
believed that a greater number of 
young men from Liberty county 
graduate from our colleges than 
from any other section of Georgia." 
There are five " academies," with 
an average of nineteen pupils each. 
Five public schools (1 to 160 
square miles), maintained at an 
average expenditure of $15.40 per 
annum each. No libraries found 
in the census canvass of 1849. Mr. 
White states that the Medway 
and Newport Library Society had, 
in 1845, " about seven hundred 
volumes, in a very bad state of 
preservation." This library was 
established by some New England 
immigrants before the prohibition 
of slavery was annulled in the 
province. The early settlers of 
the county were chiefly from 
Massachusetts. 

Character of the people. — "Ge- 
nerally upright and virtuous, and 
they are unsurpassed for the great 
attention paid to the duties of 
religion." 

Religion. — Ten church edifices ; 

average value, $1,200. 



Mcintosh County, broadest on 
the sea. 

Population. — Whites, 1,300 ; 



390 



APPENDIX. 



SECOND TIES COUNTIES. 

slaves, 350. Average amount of 
property for each white family, 



State tax, $1.23. 

Capital invested in trade, 
$4,200. 

Soil. — " Generally poor, barren 
pine land ; when manured, will 
produce about twenty bushels of 
corn per acre." 

Education. — " Few scbools ;" 
two academies (one Baptist, and 
the other Methodist, probably), 
with thirteen pupils between them. 
Four public schools (1 to 148 
square miles), averaging ten pupils 
each ; expense of maintenance not 
returned. 



Character of the people. — " High 
for morality and hospitality ;" 
" poor, but honest." At the seat 
of justice "are many beautiful 
pine hills, affording delightful 
summer residences to the wealthy 
planters of Glynn " (hence the 
academical advantages). 

Religion. — Eight church edi- 
fices ; average value, $240. 

Ware County. — (About one fifth 
of this county is occupied by the 
Okefenokee Swamp.) 

Population.— Whites, 2,000 ; 
slaves, 300. Average amount of 
personal property for each white 
family, $480. 



COAST COUNTIES. 

slaves, 4,400. Average amount of 
property for each white family, 
$7, 287, or eight times as much as 
in Wayne. 

State tax, $2.77. 

Capital invested in trade, 
$1,200. 

Soil. — Poor turpentine pine land 
in the rear ; on the Altamaha, " of 
inexhaustible fertility." 

Education. — One academy, with 
thirty-eight scholars ; four public 
schools, twelve and a half miles 
apart, averaging twenty pupils 
each. Expense of maintaining 
each school, $ 78 per annum. " The 
wealthier classes are highly edu- 
cated ; but, generally, little inte- 
rest is felt in the subject of educa- 
tion." 

Character of the people. — " Like 
all parts of Lower Georgia, the 
citizens of Mcintosh are generally 
intelligent and hospitable." 



Religion. — Twelve church edi- 
fices ; average value, $1,041. 

Camden County. — Much the 
largest part of this county, which 
is L shaped, with but one arm on 
the sea, is inland, and unfertile. 

Population.— Whites, 3,000 ; 
slaves, 4,000. Average amount of 
personal property for . each white 
family, 54,428. 



APPENDIX. 



191 



SECOND TIER COUNTIES. 

State tax, $4.05. 
Stock in trade, $2,200. 



Soil. — " Ligat and tolerably pro- 
ductive." 

Education. — " Very little inte- 
rest is taken in the subject of edu- 
cation." ]No academies ; six public 
schools (1 to 485 square miles), 
sixteen pmoils each. Wages of 
teachers, etc., yearly, $41 each 
school. No Sunday school or 
other libraries. 



Character of the people. — " The 
citizens are said to be hardy, in- 
dustrious, and honest.'' " Much 
good might be done by the organi- 
zation of temperance societies." 

Religion. — Fifteen church edi- 
fices, fourteen miles apart, each 
accommodating one hundred sit- 
ters, and valued at $56 each. 



COAST COUNTIES. 

State tax, $13. 

" Amount of business done at 
St. Mary's is about $30,000 per 
annum," nearly all in lumber, and 
done by New Englanders Nt 
other trade statistics. 

Soil. — " Of celebrated fertility." 

Education. — No remarks on 
education or character by Mr. 
White. Four public schools (1 
to 280 square miles), with seven- 
teen pupils each, maintained at an 
average expenditure of $290 per 
annum. Two academies, with 
forty-five pupils. Five Sunday 
school libraries, with one hundred 
and ten volumes each. 

Character of the people. — No 
remarks. 



Religion. — Ten churches (five 
of which are in the town of St. 
Mary's, a beautiful and healthy 
village, resorted to by consump- 
tives); average value, $850. 



I have purposely omitted Effingham county in the above 
arrangement, because the adjoining coast county of Chatham 
contains the city of Savannah, an aggregate agency of northern 
and foreign merchants, through which is effected the commercial 
exchanges of a great extent of back country, the population of 
which can therefore afford no indication as to the point under 
consideration. Effingham, the county above Chatham, and one 
of the second tier, is worthy of notice, from some other impor- 
tant exceptional features of its constitution. Owing to the 
amount of rich soil in the county, along the Savannah river, 



392 APPENDIX. 

there is a larger proportion of slaves to the whole population 
than is usual in the second tier, their number being sixteen 
hundred against only eighteen hundred whites ; the non-slave- 
holders, however, appear to possess unusual privileges. There 
is an academy, with fifty pupils, which Mr. White describes as 
" a fine school." The public schools, eight in number, are less 
than eight miles apart, with an average attendance of sixteen 
pupils. Each school costs one hundred and twelve dollars a 
year. There are twenty-one churches, less than five miles 
apart, and valued at over twelve hundred dollars a-piece. Mr. 
White says that honesty and industry are leading characteristics 
of the people, who, notwithstanding the poverty of the soil, are 
generally in comfortable circumstances. 

The reason of this is partially the close vicinity of Savannah, 
affording a cash market for a variety of productions and house- 
hold manufactures, among which, as distinguishing the county 
from any other in the State, are mentioned fruits, silk, fishing 
lines, and cow-bells, " the latter," Mr. White is told, " superior 
to any manufactured in the North or in Europe." But an 
equally important reason for the better character and condition 
of the people is to be found in the fact that a majority of them * 
are descendants and heirs of the land of those very early settlers 
who most strenuously and to the last resisted the introduction 
of slaves into the colony, being convinced that, if permitted, it 
would, as they said in their memorials, " prove a scourge " to 
the poor people who were persuaded to petition for it.f It is 
most gratifying to perceive that all traces of the habits of 
industry, honesty, and manly self-reliance, in which they thus 
educated their children, are not wholly lost in the lapse of a 
century. 

* " White's Statistics," p. 224. 

t Hewitt, — ; " Seaboard Slave States," p. 528. 



INDEX. 



Abolition, effect of low prices of cotton in 
promoting, i., 201 ; extent of the 
agitation to remote districts, ii., 37 ; 
abolitionist sentiments of a slave- 
owner in Mississippi, 98 ; feeling in 
favour of, in North Carolina, 131. 

Abolitionists, danger of poor whites be- 
coming, ii., 357 ; literature of, 358. 

Advantage "(supposed) of slave-labour in 
cultivating cotton and tobacco, ii., 
252. 

Advertisements for runaway negroes, i., 
157; of slaves for sale, ii., 22. 

Acadians, or poor French habitans in 
Louisiana, i., 338 ; ii., 33. 

Adams, Governor, on the want of educa- 
tion for the poor, ii., 293. 

African races, character of, compared 
with the Teutonic, ii., 221. 

Agriculture, scientific, on a farm on 
James River, i., 52 ; wretched im- 
plements used in North Carolina, 
172 ; successful cultivation of the 
sugar-cane, 322 ; on a Mississippi 
plantation, ii., 201 ; decay of, in 
Virginia, 303 ; in Slave and Free 
States, 367. 

Alabama, appearance of the country, 
i., 274 ; " reasons " for making 
Montgomery the capital, ii., 112; 
women getting out iron ore, 115 ; 
picture of decay by one of her states- 
men, 297. 

Alabama River, voyage down the, i., 
275 ; number of so-called landings, 
275 ; mode of loading cotton, 
275 ; Irishmen cheaper than nio-gers, 
276. 

Albemarle, proportion of slaves to whites, 
i., 116. 

Alexandria (Louisiana), yellow fever at, 
i., 357 ; unenviable reputation of, 
357. 



Alligators, ii., 24 ; dangers of their holes, 
29. 

Amalgamation, i., 307. 

Americans in Texas, ii., 101. 

' American Agriculturist,' quoted, i., 
116. 

Annexation of Cuba, its effect on the 
sugar manufacture of Louisiana, ii., 
50 ; on the African slave-trade, 51. 

Apparatus used in sugar manufacture, 
i., 329. 

Aptness of negroes for learning, ii., 70 ; 
for mechanical occupations, 78. 

Association of whites with coloured 
people, i., 168, 169, note; the 
quadroon society of New Orleans, 
305. 

Aristocrats, "swell heads," of Mississippi, 
ii., 156, 166. 

Auction, sale of slaves by, at Richmond, 
i., 50 ; ii., 372. 

Aversion to labour, difficulty in over- 
coming the negro's, ii., 192. 

Bacon raising, ii., 176. 

Bals masque's at New Orleans, i., 304. 

Barton, Dr., on the advantages of slavery, 
ii., 277, note. 

Bee-hunting, ii., 117. 

Big woods, ii., 29. 

Bill of fare of an hotel at Memphis, 
ii., 57. 

Blacksmith, an independent, ii., 8. 

Boarding-house at Washington, i., 28. 

Boat-songs of the negroes on the steam- 
boats, i., 347. 

Books, dangerous, ii., 358. 

Brazos bottoms, cotton plantations on 
the, i., 14. 

Breeding slaves for sale in Virginia, i., 
57 ; early period at. which they 
have children, ii., 80. 

Brooks, P. S„ ii., 348. 



304 



INDEX. 



Burning alive of a negro in Eastern 
Tennessee, ii., 349, 351 ; frequency 
of such cases, 054. 

Calcasieu River (Texas), ii., 30. 

Canada, running of slaves into, ii., 362 ; 
loss to the South by, 362. 

Cape Fear River, a type of the navigable 
streams of the cotton States, i., 191 ; 
passage from Fayetteville to Wil- 
mington, 191 ; panic of a steamer's 
crew, 192; taking in wood, 193; 
description of the passengers, 194 ; 
features of the river-banks, 196. 

Capital transferred, ii., 299 ; with North- 
ern men, 301. 

Carolina, North, fisheries, i., 149; desolate 
aspect of the country, 171 ; want 
of means of communication, 181; 
degraded condition of white la- 
bourers, 188 ; general ignorance and 
torpidity of the people, 190; their 
causes, 190; aspect of slavery more 
favourable than in Virginia, 191; 
cultivation of forage crops neglected, 
200 ; wages of labourers, ii., 132. 

Carolina, South, appearance of the 
country, i., 204, 215 ; thinly 
peopled, 206 ; log cabins, 206 ; 
negro-quarters, 207 ; repulsive ap- 
pearance of field-hands, 208 ; con- 
versation with an elderly country- 
man in, 217 ; his ignorance and 
good-nature, 218, 221 ; conduct of 
two negro-girls, 222 ; plantations, 
233 ; negro" settlements, 233, 237. 

Cartwriyht, Dr., on the peculiar diseases 
of negroes, i., 122. 

Carts, primitive style of, in Georgia, i., 
231. 

Cavaliers, English, Virginia partly colo- 
nized by, ii., 335. 

Cemeteries, negro, i., 224. 

' Chambers' Journal,' on the Virginia 
slave-trade, ii., 372. 

C aracter, difference of, in North and 
South, how accounted for, ii., 332, 
* et seq. 

1 Charleston Mercury,' quoted, ii., 362. 

Charleston Standard,' the, on dishonest 
trading with slaves, i., 253. 

(harleston (S. C), average mortality of 
whites and negroes at, ii., 259. 



Chastity of so-called pious slaves, ii., 
226. 

Children, bad effects on, from intercourse 
with slaves, i., 222. 

Christmas holidays of the negroes, i., 
97 ; serenade in San Augustin, 375 ; 
presents to slaves, ii., 180. 

Church edifices, value of, in Georgia, ii., 
388. 

Churches of coloured people in Washing- 
ton, i., 36 ; description of a religious 
service in New Orleans, 308. 

Claiborne (Alabama), curious mode of 
loading cotton at, i., 275. 

Clay, Mr. Cassius, ii,, 281. 

Climate of cotton lands, reckoned un- 
suitable for white labourers, ii., 
256. 

Clothing of slaves, i., 46, 105; ii., 200; 
fondness for finery, 201. 

Coal, beds of, in Virginia, i., 55 ; ex- 
tensive fields of, ii., 365. 

Coloured Church members, statistics of, 
ii., 222 ; hollovvness of their pro- 
fessions, 225. 

Columbus (Georgia), i., 273; extensiv? 
manufactures, 274 ; frequent dis> 
tress of white labourers, 274; 
wretched hotel accommodation, 274, 

Conspiracy to overawe the North, i., 6. 

Comparison of the moral and social con- 
dition of the negro, in Slave aui 
Free States, ii., 238. 

Corporeal punishment, severe instance of, 
witnessed, ii., 205. 

Cottage in Louisiana, a night spent in, 
ii., 38 ; superior manners of the 
inmates, 39. 

Cotton, fallacies with respect to its in- 
fluence, i., 5 ; the monopoly not 
. beneficial to the Slave States, 8 ; 
neglected resources of the so-called 
cotton States, 12 ; profitable culti- 
vation, 15 ; number of slaves en- 
gaged in cotton culture, 17 ; profits 
of large and small planters, 18 ; 
limited area devoted to its growth, 
24 ; effect of low prices on abo- 
lition, 201 j reckless loading on 
steamboats, 275 ; chiefly produced 
in the valley of the Mississippi, 
342 ; expense of raising, ii., 182 ; 
planting and tillage the chief items, 



INDEX. 



395 



253 ; advantages of free labour, 
262, 268; possibility of greatly in- 
creasing the cotton supply, 269. 

•Cotton Planter,' the, extract from, ii., 
186. 

Cotton-planters, general characteristics 
of, i., 18, 276, 343; their want of 
the comforts of civilized life, 19, 
137 ; their hospitality generally a 
matter of business, ii., 95 ; sudden 
acquisition of wealth by, 158. 

Counties of Georgia, statistics of, ii., 
385. 

" Crackers " of Georgia, religious service 
among the, i., 265 ; at Columbus, 
275. 

Creoles, French, i., 338; ii., 33; their 
passion for gambling, 45; general 
character and mode of life, 46. 

Crockett (Eastern Texas), scarcity of 
provisions at, ii., 2. 

Cruelty of negro slaveholders, i., 336. 

Cuba, emancipation law of, i., 257 ; pro- 
bable effect of its annexation on 
sugar-planting in Louisiana, ii., 50. 

' Daili/ News, the London,' extracts from, 
ii., 189, 190 ; letter in, 322. 

Dancing, fondness of negioes for, ii., 72. 

Danger of the South, ii., 338. 

Darby, Mr,, on the effects of climate, 
ii., 257. 

De Boiv, Mr., his 'Compendium of the 
Census,' quoted i., 19, 20, 24; his 
* Review,' quoted, on the valley of the 
Mississippi, ii., 63 ; on the want of 
education, 293 ; ' Resources of the 
South,' 182, 227, 265, 310; his 
charges against the author, 311 ; on 
negro capacity, 345 ; on abolitionist 
books, 360. 

Beep River, extensive fisheries, i., 149 ; 
mode of fishing described, 150 ; ex- 
penditure of gunpowder, 151 ; re- 
moval of stumps of trees from the 
bottom, 151 ; mode of operation, 
151 ; negro divers, 152 ; cheerful 
and willing to work, 153. 

Deer, ingenious mode of killing, ii., 197. 

Deserted plantations in Texas, ii., 1. 

Diseases peculiar to negroes, i., 122 ; 
malaria, 235 ; yellow fever, 259 ; 
ii., 260. 



Dismal Swamp, \., 144; importance or 
the lumber trade, 144; character and 
mode of life of slaves employed 
as lumbermen, 146 ; their supe- 
riority over field-hands generally, 
148 ; a refuge for runaway negroes, 
155. 

Distances, discrepancies in estimating, 
ii., 31. 

Distress, in 1855, in New York, ii., 243; 
in the Southern States, 248. 

Divers, skill and perseverance of slaves 
employed as, i., 151. 

Dogs used for hunting negroes, i., 156; 
ii., 120, 122, 178, 184. 

Domestic servants, their great value in 
the South, i., 125 ; their cost in 
proportion to white domestics, 125; 
a Southern lady's description of her 
household, 126; their carelessness, 
131 ; in Eastern Texas, ii., 12; in- 
difference to scolding, 93. 

Douglas, Mrs., on Amalgamation, i., 307. 

Drapetomania, a disease peculiar to 
negroes, i., 122. 

Drivers, selection of, i., 249 ; their qua- 
lifications and duties, 249 ; their 
general character, 250. 

" Driving" i., 135 ; ii., 178, 201. 

Duel, savage conduct and termination of, 
ii., 231. 

Dutch-French farmer, conversation with 
a, ii., 39. 

Dysesthesia JEihiopica, a disease pecu- 
liar to negroes, i., 122. 

Economy, political, of Virginia, i., 108. 
Eggs, negroes well supplied with, i., 

103, 281 ; a circulating medium, 

254. 
Education, want of provision for, in the 

South, ii., 292. 
Educational projects in Mississippi, ii., 

156 ; statistics of Northern and 

Southern States, 331. 
Ellison, Mr., on ' Slavery and Secession,' 

i., 58, note. 
Engineers, slaves employed as, i., 240. 
English mechanic at New Orleans, con- 
versation with, i., 296. 
Enlightenment of Christianized Africans, 

specimens of the, ii., 89, 225 ; a 

" pious" negro, 89. 



396 



INDEX. 



Epidemic of 1820, in the Southern 

States, i., 258 ; admirable conduct 

of the slaves, 259. 
Epitaphs in negro burial-ground, i., 226. 
Excitement of blacks, at their religious 

meetings, i., 259, 309. 
Extravagance and wastefulness of the 

blacks, i., 98. 
" Eyebreaker," black gnat so called, its 

attacks on cattle, ii., 41. 

False assertion of the superior material 
condition of Southern slaves to that 
of Northern and European labourers, 
ii., 242. 

Famine of 1855, its effect in New York, 
ii., 243 ; extracts from Southern 
newspapers during, 248 ; how felt 
in the Slave States, 248. 

Farm, in Maryland, described, i., 32 ; 
on James River, 52 ; description of 
a, cultivated by free labour, 92; 
employment of Irishmen, 95. 

Farm-lands, comparative value in Slave 
and Free States, i., 11, 35, 114. 

Farmer, conversation with a free-labour, 
in Tennessee, on slavery, ii., 140. 

" Fast man" in Mississippi, ii., 154. 

February weather in Georgia, i., 227. 

Feliciana, beauty of the region, ii., 143. 

Field-hands on a rice plantation, classifi- 
cation of, i., 246. 

Filthiness of negroes, ii., 200. 

Fires in the open air, negro fondness for, 
i., 215. 

Fisheries in North Carolina, i., 149; in- 
teresting and novel operations, 150. 

Fleas, mode of destroying by an ingenious 
negro, i., 104, note. 

Food, supplied to the slaves in Virginia, 
i., 101 ; on a Georgia rice planta- 
tion, 244 ; on a Mississippi planta- 
tion, ii., 179, 195 ; generally in the 
South, 240, 241. 

Frambmsia, or Yaws, slaves peculiarly 
subject to, i., 123. 

Free Labour, plantation in Virginia cul- 
tivated by, i., 92. 

Fruit-trees, supplied by a peddler, ii., 74. 

Funeral, negro, in Richmond, i., 43 ; 
ludicrous features of, 44. 

,' General GabrieVs" rebellion, i., 42. 



Georgia, winter climate of, i., 227 ; 
" sh«w plantations," 230 ; strange 
appearance and language of the 
rustics, 231 ; statistics of seaboard 
district of, ii., 295, 385 ; worn-out 
cotton lands, 296. 

Germans, their patient industry and 
docility as labourers, i., 33, 195 ; 
in Eastern Texas, ii., 19 ; in Western 
Texas, 96 ; immigration to Texas, 
102 ; their influence, 102 ; schools, 
103; conversation with a persever- 
ing German, 164 ; at Natchez, 171 ; 
superior quality of the cotton picked 
bv, 263; cultivation of cotton by, 
in Texas, 266. 

Glue-manufacturer, his reasons for em- 
ploying whites, i., 194. 

Grades of coloured people, i., 294. 

Graniteville Manufacturing Company, ot 
South Carolina, improvement in the 
condition of their operatives, ii., 
286. 

Grave-yard for negroes, i., 224. 

Gregg, Mr. W. H., quoted, ii., 286, 
287, 301. 

Griscom, Mr. T. R., on slave labour, i., 
133, 135. 

Grog-shops, their evil effects on the 
slaves, i., 251 ; homicide of a negro, 
253, note. 

Guano, the Hon. W. Newton on the 
beneficial effects resulting from its 
introduction, i., 101. 

Hammond, Governor, on the influence of 
cotton, i., 7 ; on slavery, ii., 228. 

Handbill of a North Carolina innkeeper, 
i., 163. 

Harper, Chancellor, on the tendency of 
slavery to elevate the female charac- 
ter, i., 222; his ' Address,' quoted, 
ii., 278. 

' Harper's Weekly,' quoted, ii., 158. 

' Hernando Advance,' quoted ii., 147. 

Highlands, feelings of inhabitants of, with 
regard to slavery, ii., 129, 131, 
135-; their dislike of negro competi- 
tion, 137 ; their manners and phrase- 
ology, 1 37 ; general ignorance, 138. 

Hiring a saddle-horse, i., 61 ; lucid 
directions for an intricate journey, 
62. 



INDEX. 



397 



Hogs, raising of, ii., 176 ; large planta- 
tions not suited to, 177. 

Homochitto ferry, ii., 164. 

Honesty, instances of, among slaves, i. 
148, 259; ii., 213, note. 

Horses in Natchez, ii., 167; objections 
of a Texas drover to " iron on their 
feet," 54. 

Hospitality, reputation of the South for, 
generally unwarranted, ii., 282 ; in- 
stances of its refusal, 315. 

Hotels, at Washington, i., 28 ; Richmond, 
51, 55; Norfolk, 160; Gaston, 
168; Fayetteville, 183; specimen 
of, in Eastern Texas, ii., 5 ; first- 
class, at Memphis, 56 ; bill of fare 
and its result, 57 ; at Woodville, 
dress-etiquette and wretched ar- 
rangements, 148. 

' Household Words,' extract from, ii., 
258. 

Souses of slave population in Virginia, 
i., 87, 104 ; in South Carolina, 
207; Georgia, 233, 237; Missis- 
sippi, ii., 68. 

Houston County, ii., 1 ; deserted planta- 
tions, 1 ; scarcity of provisions, 2 ; 
runaway mulatto captured by a 
negro, 21. 

Hunting a runaway slave in the back 
country, ii., 161. 

" Idee of Potasun," extraordinary com- 
position of " the best medicine," i., 

169. 
Ignorance of a planter's 3on, ii., 90 ; of 

the father, 91 ; of a respectable 

farmer, 130. 
Illinois, a farmer of, on the condition of 

South-western Slave States, ii., 308. 
Immersion, fondness of religious negroes 

for, ii., 72. 
Impetuosity of the Southerners, ii., 327. 
Improvement in the condition of slaves 

within the last twenty years, ii., 

101. 
Indian farms in Mississippi, ii., 105. 
Indians, in Louisiana, ii., 38 ; costume 

of Choctaws and Alabamas, 38 ; 

hired to hoe cotton, 93. 
Intelligence and industry of negroes on a 

Mississippi plantation, ii., 79. 
Irishmen, employment of, i., 95; the best 



labourers to be obtained, 95 ; too 
self-confident and quarrelsome, 195; 
Germans preferred to them, 195; 
labourers to negro masons, 297. 

Iron-mining in Alabama, ii , 115; 
conversation with a miner, 116 ; 
wages earned, 117. 

Italians at Natchez, ii., 169 ; their cha- 
racter by one of themselves, 170. 

James River, i., 52, 142. 

Jefferson, on the moral sense of negroes, 
i., 106 ; on the evils of • slavery, ii., 
231. 

Jerked beef, preparation of, ii., 25. 

Jews, settlement of, in Southern towns, 
i., 252. 

" Jodel," the musical yell of the South 
Carolina negro, i., 214. 

Jones, Rev. C. C., quoted, ii., 225. 

' Journal of Commerce,' letter to, by a 
Virginian, on the scarcity of labour- 
ers, i., 111. 

Kentucky, negro-trader of, ii., 44. 
Killing negroes, viewed merely as an of- 
fence against property, ii., 190. 

Labour of slaves, compared with that of 
labourers in Free states, i., 10, 1 37 ; 
ii., 382 ; influence of the association 
in labour of slaves and free-men, 
i., 300 ; cost of, in the Border 
States, ii., 380 ; difference between 
slave and free, 382. 

Land, value of, i., 114; in Virginia and 
Pennsylvania, ii., 369. 

Liberation of slaves on a plantation in 
Virginia, happy results of, i., 92. 

Liberia, emigration to, i., 149, 335. 

Liberty, county of (Georgia), interest of 
the planters in the well-being of 
their slaves, ii., 215 ; statistics of, 
388. 

Licentiousness, comparative, of North 
and South, i., 307. 

Liquor, traffic with slaves, evils of, 
i., 251 ; habit of pilfering to pro- 
cure it, 252. 

Log-cabin in North Carolina, i., 180 ; in 
South Carolina, 206, 213 ; in East- 
ern Texas, 367. 

Log-roads in the swamp, i., 145. 



398 



INDEX. 



Longstreet, Judge, his ' Georgia Scenes,' 
quoted, ii., 297. 

Lorettes, the, of New Orleans, i., 302 ; 
a qnasi-marriage, 303; economy of 
the system, 306. 

Louisiana, laws of, favourable to negroes, 
i., 101 ; a negro's opinion of, com- 
pared with Virginia, 334; contrast 
of manners in, and in Texas, ii., 31 ; 
good-nature of the people, 31 ; miser- 
able condition of the poorer planters, 
44 ; disregard of slave-laws in, 47 ; 
Sunday-work, 47 ; insecurity of 
slaveholding interest, 51. 

Lumberers, slave, habits and mode of life 
in the swamp, i., 146; superior to 
most slaves, 148. 

Lumber-trade in the Dismal Swamp, 
i., 145. 

Lying, almost universal among slaves, 
i., 105. 

Maine Law, arguments for, in the South, 
i., 253. 

Malaria of rice-fields, i., 235. 

Management of slaves, increasing diffi- 
culty of the, i., 252. 

Manchac Spring, a well-ordered planta- 
tion, ii., 15. 

Manufactures, beneficial effect of, on the 
community, i., 25 ; ii., 286. 

Marriage, indifference of negroes to, 
ii.,' 80. 

Maury, Lieutenant, on the advantageous 
situation for commerce of Norfolk 
(Virginia), i., 143. 

Medical survey, ii., 197. 

Memphis, ii., 55. 

' Methodist Protestant,' the, quoted, 
ii., 228. 

Methodists, their opinion on slavery, 
ii., 140 ; their five ' Christian Ad- 
vocates.' 140, note. 

Mexicans, dislike of Americans to, ii., 19. 

Mill's ' Political Economy,' quoted, 
ii., 338. 

Miner, conversation with a, ii., 115. 

Mine al treasuies of Virginia, ii., 365. 

Misrepresentation, charge of, against the 
author, ii., 311. 

Missionary system, slavery as a, ii., 215. 

Mississippi River, cotton plantations on 
the, i., 13, 17, note ; ii., 59 ; rich 



planters, 158 ; number of slaves en 
a plantation, 159. 

Mississippi, feeling in, against slavery, 
ii., 98, 109; condition of the slaves, 
101. 

Mississippi, Northern, remarkable planta- 
tion in, ii., 67 ; all the negroes able 
to read, 70 ; their religion and 
morals, 71. 

Mobile (Alabama), description of, i., 282 ; 
scarcity of tradesmen and mechanics, 
283 ; chief business of the town, 
283 ; English merchants, owners of 
slaves, 284. 

Montgomery (Alabama), i., 274. 

Morals of white children sutler from as- 
sociation with slaves, i., 222, ii., 
229. 

' Morehouse Advocate,' the, quoted, i., 
298. 

Mulatto, a runaway, captured by a negro, 
ii., 21 ; their value compared with 
pure blacks, 82, 211. 

Murder of a young lady by a negro girl, 
i., 125, note. 

Music, negro fondness for, ii., 73, 221. 

Nachiloches (Louisiana), i., 358. 

Nacogdoches (E. Texas j,ii., 1; difficulty 
of procuring needful supplies for our 
journey, 2. 

Names of blacks, ii., 208. 

Natchez, gambling at, ii., 154 ; beauty 
of the neighbouring country, 165 ; 
the town described, 166; view of 
the Mississippi fiom the Bluff, 168; 
conversation with an Italian at, 169. 

' National Lntelligencer,' the, quoted, i., 
143. 

Nebraska Bill, opinions of, ii., 135, 141. 

Negroes, numbers engaged in cotton cul- 
ture, i , 17 ; their increased value, 
26; appearance of, in Virginia, 33 ; 
an illegal meeting at Washing- 
ton, 36 ; problem of Southern gen- 
tlemen with respect to, 61 ; their 
Christinas holidays, 74 ; bow th<-y 
live in the swamp, 96, 155; their 
cunning to avoid working for their 
masters' profit, 99 ; al-leged inca- 
pacity of exercising judgmi-nt, 100 ; 
kind treatment in Louisiana, 101, 
328, 338 ; proverbial habit of lying, 



INDEX. 



399 



105 ; agrarian notions, 106 ; uni- 
versally pilferers, 106 ; their simu- 
lation of illness, 118; Dr. Cart- 
wright's work on their diseases, 122 ; 
runaways in the swamp, 155 ; 
mode of hunting them, 156 ; supe- 
rior character of those employed in 
the turpentine forest, 188 ; repul- 
sive ap| e nance of, on a Carolina 
plantatim, 208; their love for tires 
in the open air, 215 ; occasional in- 
stances of trustwoithiness and intel- 
ligence, 240 ; employed in the culti- 
vation of rice, 243 ; field-hands, 
245; effect of organization of labour, 
248 ; permission to labour for them- 
selves after working hours, 251 ; 
evil effects of grog-shops, 251 ; ex- 
citement at religious meetings, 259, 
315; their jocosity, 281; engaged, 
in cultivation of sugar, 319, 328 ; 
their thoughts of b»ing free, 334, 
339 ; capacity for learning, ii., 70, 
99; mode of working in Mississippi, 
178 ; treated as mere property on 
large plantations, 192; general cha- 
racter of, 221. See Slaves. 

Negro consumption, i., 123. 

Negro slaveowners in Louisiana, i., 336 ; 
their cruelty, 336. 

Negro-traders in Louisiana and Kentucky, 
ii., 44. 

New Orleans, arrival at, i., 290 ; first 
impressions, 291 ; the French 
quarter, 291 ; cathedral, 293 ; mix- 
ture of races, 294 ; a lot of twenty- 
two negroes, 295 ; number of fiee 
labourers, 299 ; manners and morals 
of the citizens, 302; association 
with mulatto and quadroon females, 
302. 

' New Orleans Crescent,' quoted, i., 300. 
301. 

' New Orleans Delta,' on justice to 
slaves, ii., 185. 

Newton, the Hon. Willoughby, on the 
introduction of guano, i., 101. 

* New York Times,' letters to, on slave 
and free labour, i., 134, 135, ii., 
268. 

Norfolk (Virginia), its filthy condition, 
i., 142 ; natural advantages for 
trade and commerce, 143 ; market 



gardens, 153 ; hotel accommodation, 

159. 
Norfolk Argus' the, quoted, i., 154. 
'Norther," a, ii., 6; disinclination to 

labour caused by, 9. 
Nott, Dr., his ' Essay on the Value of 

Life in the South,' quoted, ii., 257. 

Oak-woods, near Natchez, ii., 165. 

Ohio, produce per acre compared with 
that of Virginia, ii., 255. 

" Old Family," the traditional, of Vir- 
ginia or South Carolina, ii., 335. 

" Old Man Corse," an Italian-French 
emigrant, ii., 32 ; his house and 
family, 32 ; conversation with a 
negro. 34. 

Old Settler's, a night at an, in Eastern 
Texas, ii., 4. 

Opelousas (Louisiana), ii., 30. 

Overseers, character of, i., 53, 94 ; ii., 

184, 189; a kind and efficient one 
on a Carolina plantation, i., 2(*8 ; 
stringent terms of contract, 250 ; 
precaution against undue corporeal 
punishment, 251 ; surly behaviour 
of one in Mississippi, ii., 94; an- 
other specimen, 143 ; a night in an 
overseer's cabin, 1 75 ; wages of, 

185, 195; their want of considera- 
tion for slaves, 189. 

Passes to negroes, forged, i., 301 

Patent Medicines, ii., 175. 

Patent Office Reports for 1847- and 
1852, quoted, i., 115. 

" Patriarchal Institution" a favourable 
aspect of the, i., 236. 

Peddlers of tobacco, i., 209 ; of cheap 
literature, 345. 

Peripneumonia notka, or cold plague, i., 
123. 

Phillips, Mr. M. W., on plantation eco- 
nomy, ii., 186. 

Physical power, necessary to maintain 
discipline among slaves, i., 124. 

' Picayune, The,' quoted, i., 343 ; ii., 
211. 

" Plank-dancing " ii., 73. 

Plantations in South Carolina described, 
i., 207, 233; in Georgia, '243; in 
Louisiana, 317 ; Creole plantation, 
340 ; in Eastern Texas, 372 ; ii., 9, 



400 



INDEX. 



14 ; in Mississippi, 67, 90 ; ignorance 
of proprietor, 90 ; the most pro- 
fitable one visited, described, 193 
the manager and overseers, 194 
arrangements for the slaves, 195 
their rate of increase, 209 ; indiscri- 
minate intercourse, 209 ; statistics 
of, 236. 

Planters, characteristics of, i., 18, 19, 
137, 276, 343; comfortless living 
of, in Eastern Texas, ii., 10, 14; 
Creole, in Louisiana, 46 ; their pas- 
sion for increasing their negro stock, 
48 ; life of, compared with that of 
men of equal property in New 
York, 48 ; conversation with a 
nervous planter, 152 ; hospitalitv of, 
in Mississippi, 163 ; general charac- 
ter of those of the South, 230, 272. 

Plough-girls, ii., 201. 

Polk, Bishop, his description of slavery in 
the Red River county, ii., 213, note. 

Poor whites in Virginia, i., 81, 95; 
their condition worse than that of 
the slaves, 83 ; their reluctance to 
do the work of slaves, 112; de- 
graded condition of, in the turpen- 
tine forest, 188; their belief in 
witchcraft, 189 ; of South Carolina, 
231 ; trading with them injurious 
to the negroes, 252 ; girls employed 
in the cotton-mills at Columbia, 
273 ; in Eastern Texas, their dis- 
honesty, 372 ; engaged in iron min 
ing, ii., 115; in Mississippi, 196; 
feeling of irritation against, 355. 

Preacher, Methodist, tales of "nigger" 
hunting by, ii., 122. 

Preachers, negro, i., 309. 

Presbyterian minister, employed by 
Georgia planters to instruct the 
blacks, ii., 215; his opinions on 
slavery, 216 et seq. 

Price-current of slaves at Richmond, 
Virginia, ii., 374. 

ProgresSf comparative, of North and 
South, i., 25. 

Pronunciation, effect of, on names, ii., 32. 

Property aspect of slavery, ii., 183. 

Privileged classes of the touth, their con- 
dition and character, ii., 272 ; their 
assertion of the beneficence of sla- 
very, 273; their two methods of 



vindicating it, 276 ; their claims to 
high-breeding and hospitality gene- 
rally unwarranted, 282 ; instances 
of the opposite qualities, 315 et seq.; 
their revengeful disposition, 327. 

Public worship in the South, provisions 
for, i„ 259, 261. 

Purchase of a plantation, a gambling 
operation, i., 321. 

Quadroons at New Orleans, their beauty 
and healthiness, i., 294, 303 ; their 
cultivated tastes, 305 ; peculiar 
characteristics of their association 
with whites, 305. 

Quakers, negro opinion of, ii., 37. 

Pacing on the Red River, i., 351. 

Railroads, in Virginia, i., 38, 55; want 
of punctuality, 56, 141 ; in North 
Carolina, 161 ; disregard of ad- 
vertised arrangements, 167; de- 
sirable improvements, 170 ; in South 
Carolina, 216 ; their superiority in 
Georgia, 272. 

Raleigh (North Carolina), described, i., 
170; desolate aspect of the country 
around, 171. 

Rations of U. S. Army, compared with 
allowances to slaves, ii., 240. 

Red River, cotton plantations on the, i., 
13; preparations for a voyage up 
the, 343; supper and sleeping ar- 
rangements, 350 ; a good shot, 352. 

Religion, want of reverence for, i., 262 ; 
ii., 89, 104, 220. 

Religious condition of the South, i., 261 ; 
proportion of ministers to people, 
261 ; rivalry and jealousy of dif- 
ferent sects, 262 ; religious instruc- 
tion to slaves objected to, ii., 214; 
general remarks on religious profes- 
sions in the slaves, 220. 

Religious service in a meeting-house in 
Georgia, i., 205 ; in a negro chapel 
at New Orleans, 308. 

Remonstrance by South Carolina planters 
against religious instruction to 
negroes, ii., 214. 

Revival among the slaves, ii., 222. 

Rice plantation, a model one visited, i., 
235 ; house servants and field- 
hands, 236; negro-quarters, 237; 



INDEX. 



401 



nursery for black children, 238; a 
rice-mill, 239 ; burning stubble, 
243 ; ploughing, 244 ; food of the 
slaves, 244 ; field gangs, 245 ; 
task-work, 247 ; important duties 
of drivers, 249 ; limitation of power 
of punishment, 251 ; trade on the 
plantation, 254. 

Richmond, Virginia, described, i., 40 ; 
railway economy, 42 ; negro funeral, 
43 j ludicrous oratory, 44; Sunday 
appearance of coloured people, 45 ; 
their demeanour to whites, 47 ; 
" Slaves for sale or hire," 50 ; farm 
on James River, 52 ; coal-pit, 
54. 

' Richmond American' the, quoted, i., 
125, note; 'Enquirer,' ii., 364; 
' Whig,' 370. 

Riifin, Mr. Edmund, quoted, ii., 303. 

Runaway slaves, i., 119, 155; ii., 7; 
advertisements of, 157 ; cure for, 
ii., 6 ; pursuit of one, 20 ; hunting 
with dogs, 120, 122, 178; stocks 
for punishment of, 161 ; conflict 
with a runaway, 161, note ; favour- 
ite lurking-ground for, 183. 

Russell, Mr., his ' North America : its 
Agriculture, &c.,' quoted, ii., 176, 
note, 182, 252, 256 ; mistaken 
views of, with respect to free and 
slave labour, 252 et seq. 



Sabine Rwer, country on each side de- 
scribed, ii., 24 ; coarseness of the 
inhabitants, 25 ; a night with a 
gentleman of the country, 25 ; 
" figures of speech," 27. 

San Auijustin (Eastern Texas), i., 374 ; 
Presbyterian and Methodist univer- 
sities merged in a " Masonic Insti- 
tute," 375. 

St. Francisville, ii., 143; neighbouring 
country described, 145 ; appearance 
of the slaves, 146. 

Savannah (Georgia), commerce and pros- 
pects of, i., 273. 

Scripture expressions, their familiar use 
by the negroes, i., 262 ; a dram- 
seller's advertisement, 263. 

Seguin, Dr., on the capacity of the negro, 
ii., 344. 

VOL. II. 



Separation of North and South inconsis- 
tent with the welfare of either. 
i.,1. 

Sermons by negroes, i., 311. 

Settlement, negro, described, i., 237. 

" Show Plantations," i., 230. 

Sickness, real and feigned, of slaves, i., 
96, 118; ii., 198, 199. 

Skilled labour, negroes employed in, i., 
240. 

Slavery, Jefferson's opinion on, i., 92; 
practicability of rapidly extinguish- 
in^t/255 ; cruelty a necessity of, 
355 ; strong opinion against, of a 
Mississippi planter, ii., 98 ; of a Ten- 
nessee farmer, 140 ; necessary to 
produce cheap cotton, ii., 252. 

Slaveholders, opinions of, on slavery, i., 
53,60, 332,354; ii., 92; Ameri- 
can, French, and negro slaveowners, 
336, 837. 

Slave-mart, at Richmond, i., 50 ; at 
Houston, ii., 22. 

Slaves, liberated, doing well in Africa, 
i., 92 ; prospects of those going 
North, 93. 

Slaves, their value as labourers, i., 16, 
94 ; as domestic servants, 125 ; 
causes of the hish prices given for 
them, 16 ; number engaged in cul- 
tivating cotton, 17; number annu- 
ally exported from slave-breeding to 
cotton States, 58 ; proportion of 
workers to slaves maintained, 59 ; 
improvement in their conditions, 94; 
their food and lodging in Virginia, 
102, 104 ; their clothing, 105 ; sub- 
ject to peculiar diseases, 122 ; neces- 
sity of humouring them, 128 ; have 
no training as children, 131 ; work 
accomplished in a given time, 133; 
"driving," 135; increasing difficul- 
ties in their management, 252 ; in- 
stance of their trustworthiness, 259 ; 
best method of inducing them to 
exert themselves, 328 ; bad effect 
of their association with white la- 
bourers, 330 ; and of their dealings 
with petty traders, 331 : condition 
of, on a profitable plantation in Mis- 
sissippi, ii., 195; worked hardest in 
the South-west, 202 ; some nearly 
white, 210; their religious instruc- 

2 D 



402 



INDEX. 



tion, 222 ; impolicy of allowing 
them to cultivate patches, 238 ; 
auction at Richmond described, 372. 
See Negroes. 

Slave States, condition of the people, i., 
8 ; not benefited by their cotton 
monopoly, 8 ; dearness of slave- 
labour, 10, 94 ; antipathy of the 
whites to work, 22 ; small propor- 
tion of the area devoted to cotton 
cultivation, 24; their small contri- 
bution to the national treasury, 27 ; 
general characteiistics and features 
of the country, 85. 

Slave trade, activity of, in Virginia, i., 
57 ; difficulty of obtaining statistics, 
58. 

Sleeping-quarters, unpleasant, ii„ 87, 
106 ; abundance of insect vermin, 87 ; 
mode of keeping away gnats, 107. 

' South Carolinian,' the, on planters and 
overseers, ii., 188. 

South, danger of the, ii., 338 ; condition of 
the negro, 339; Southern method 
of treatment dangerous, 344 ; un- 
conscious habits of precaution, 346; 
apparent tranquillity deceptive, 348 ; 
police machinery, 350 ; abolitionist 
literature, 358 ; cause of agitation, 
361 ; impossibility of acceding to 
the demands of the South, 362 ; 
threat of dissolution, 363 ; probable 
result, 363. 
Southern Agriculturist, ' the, quoted, 
ii., 182, 188. 

' Southern Cultivator, 7 the, on the effect 
of the society of negroes on their 
masters' children, i., 222, note; 
on allowing negroes to cultivate 
" patches," 239, note. 

Stage-coach rides in North Carolina, i., 
163, 174, 201 ; a swindling driver, 
163; cruelty to horses, 175; unex- 
pected comforts of a piny-wood stage- 
house, 177; in Mississippi, ii., 64. 

Stage-house at Fayetteville, described, i., 
183. 

Steam-boats : on Cape Fear River, i., 
191; on the Alabama River, 275; 
passengers, 276 ; wastefulness and 
joviality of the crew, 281; descrip- 
tion of one on the Red River, 
347 ; sleeping arrangements, 349 : 



life of the firemen, 350 ; deck- 
passengers, 350; a race, 351; 
gambling on board, 353. 

Street-fights in Louisiana, ii., 53. 

Steward, negro, on a rice "plantation, 
importance of his office, i., 240 ; 
privileges enjoyed by, 242. 

Subjugation of the South, its alleged im- 
possibility, i., 2. 

Suffering, occasional, different effect of, 
on the slave and free labourer, ii., 
251. 

Sugar plantation, in Louisiana, i., 317; 
the owner's popularity, 318 ; man- 
sion and offices, 319; arrangements 
for the slaves, 320 ; usual expenses 
of carrying on, 321 ; ii., 236 ; mode 
of cultivation, i., 323 ; planting the 
cane, 325 ; tillage, 327 ; grinding 
the cane, 328 ; increased labour in 
grinding season willingly performed 
by the slaves, 328 ; late improve- 
ments in the manufacture, 329. 

Suggestions for improving the condition 
of the negro, and pieparing him for 
freedom, i., 255. 

Sumner and Brooks, ii., 348. 

Sunday, slave labour on, ii., 47, 181. 

Sweep-seines, the largest in the world, 
used in the North Carolina fisheries, 
i., 149. 

" Swell-heads," ii., 156, 166. 

Task-work general in Georgia and South 
Carolina, i., 247. 

Texas, its prospect of becoming a Free 
State, ii., 102; influence of the 
Germans, 102, 103. 

Texas, Eastern, route across, i., 359 ; a 
day in the woods, 359 ; planiation 
described, 359; a sick child, 361 ; 
the emigrant road, 365, 374 ; appear- 
ance of the emigrants, 365 ; the Red 
Lands, 373 ; Christmas serenade, 
375 ; a planter's residence, ii., 9 ; 
his comfoitless mode of living, 10; 
promising sons, 10; literary dearth 

10 ; interest taken in foreign affairs, 

11 ; domestic servants, 13; a night, 
with another planter, 14; his habits 
of life, 14, 15; determination of 
inhabitants to conceal unfavourable 
facts, 18; hatred of Mexicans, 19. 



INDEX. 



403 



Texas, South-eastern, district described, 
ii., 23 ; imperfect drainage, 23 ; 
sparsely settled, 24 ; not a desirable 
place of abode, 24. 

Tennessee, North-eastern, contrast be- 
tween the homes of a slaveholder 
and a farmer without slaves, ii., 
138. 

Tennessee squire, a night with, ii., 128; 
his notion of buying Irishmen, 129. 

Tobacco, plantation in Eastern Virginia, 
i., 88; reasons for growing, 88 ; 
negroes not able to cultivate the 
finer sorts, 89, ii., 254 ; their mode 
of payment, i., 98, 140. 

Tobacco-peddling in South Carolina, i., 
209. 

Treating in Mississippi, ii., 155. 

Tree-peddler, his catalogue of " curosest 
trees, ' ii., 75. 

Trinity B ttom, ii , 2 ; fertility of sur- 
rounding lands, 3. 

Turpentine forest, character of slaves 
employed in, i., 188. 

Umbrellas carried by Alabama Indians 

on horseback, ii., 38. 
' Uncle Tom's C (6m,' conversation on, 

i., 345, 354; ii., 135. 

Vicksburgh, ii., 55. 

Virginia, characteristics of the popula- 
tion, i.. 39 ; association of blacks 
and whites, 40; the Public Guard, 
41 ; rebellion of coloured people in 
1801, 42; mode of living of Vir- 
ginia gentlemen at home, 89 ; treat- 
ment of negroes in, 101 ; Economy 
of Virginia, 108; an Englishman's 
impressions on landing in the United 
States, 108 ; apparent indifference 
to shabby living, 108 ; its causes, 
108 ; difference of means required 
to procure the same result, 108 ; 
a similar analogy between the Noith 
and South, 109 ; an exceptional 
case, 109; high price paid for 
skilled labour, 110; state of 
the community as a whole, 111; 
complaints of scarcity of hands, 
111; the employment of whites in 
occupations usually performed by 
slaves distasteful both to master 



and labourer, 112 ; land most valu- 
able, where proportion of slaves to 
whites is least, 114; comparative 
cost of slave and free labour, 117; 
advantages of the latter in wages 
paid, 118 ; in freedom from loss by 
disability, 118 ; frequency of feigned 
illness, 118; peculiar diseases of 
negroes, 122; means of maintaining 
discipline, 124 ; want of the mo- 
tives to exertion possessed by free 
labourers, 131 ; influence of slave 
system on the habits of the whole 
community, 131 ; general want of 
civilized comforts, 137; waste of 
natural resources, 138, 143; rule 
of make-shift, 138; exceptional 
instances, 139 ; decay of its agricul- 
ture, ii., 303; mineral wealth, 365; 
want of means of education, 371. 

Virginia, Eastern, its resources neg- 
lected, i., 8; poverty of its inhabi- 
tants, 10 ; description of a ride, 61; 
a strange vehicle, 65; the school- 
house, 65 ; " Old Fields," 66 ; 
desolate appearance of the country, 
66 ; a farm-house, 70 ; a country 
" grosery," 72 ; the court-house, 
74 ; a night at an old plantation 
with a churli-h host, 76; the 
" supper-room" and " sitting-room,'' 
79; piecarious existence of poor 
white labourers, 81 ; the " bed- 
room," 84; the planter's chaige 
for his "hospitality," 85; sparse 
population, 86 ; the meeting-house, 
86; negro quarters, 87; a tobacco 
plantation, 88. 

V oyagefiova Mobile to New Orleans, i., 
28 5. 

Washington, number of visitors at, i., 28 ; 
a boarding-house, 28 ; the market- 
place, 34; price of laud in the 
neighbourhood, 35; number of 
white labourers, 35; character of 
the coloured population, 36 ; an 
illegal meeting, 36. 

Watchman, the, on a Carolina planta- 
tion, i., 240, 242. 

Water-snakes, numbers of, ii., 24, 29. 

' West Feliciana Whig,' account of 
slaughter of a runaway, ii., 161. 



404 



INDEX. 



Wharves, absence of, on the Southern' 
rivers, ii., 55. 

Whip, constant use of the, ii., 202. 

Whipping, of coloured preachers of the 
Gospel, i., 226 ; of a slave girl, 
ii., 205. 

Wise, Governor, on the decay of Vir- 
ginia, ii., 303. 

Whites, some slaves hardly to be distin- 
guished from pure-blooded, ii., 210. 

White's ' Statistics of Georgia,' ii., 385. 

Wilmington (North Carolina), i., 97; 
destruction of a building at, be- 
cause erected by negroes, ii., 98. 

' Wilmington Herald,' quoted, ii., 99, 
note. 



Witchcraft, belief in, by poor whites, 
i., 189. 

Women employed in ploughing, ii., 201. 

'* Wooding " on Cape Fear River, i., 193. 

Woodville (Mississippi), ii., 148; dress 
etiquette, 148 ; neighbourhood de- 
scribed, 149 ; robberies, 149. 

Yazoo Bottoms, the son of a planter in, 
ii., 63 ; journey with him in North- 
ern Mississippi, 64; his dislike to 
babies, 66. 

Yellow Fever, good conduct of negroes at 
Savannah during its raging, i., 259 ; 
at Natchez, ii., 160. 



No._ . Sect. £_ _ Shelf 

CONTENTS 



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